Jennifer Higgs is an Assistant Professor of Learning and Mind
Sciences and Language, Literacy, and Culture. Her research
focuses on digital tool use that supports learning and teaching,
adolescents’ digital literacies, and teacher education in the
language arts. Using mixed methods and sociocultural theories of
learning, Dr. Higgs investigates practices around digital tools
as well as improvement of digital tool practices. What
fundamentally drives her work is a desire to learn how the
possibilities afforded by new cultural tools can support
robust and socially just learning. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. at
the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Higgs was a middle
and high school English teacher in Virginia and Illinois public
schools for five years and an English teacher in Japan for a
year. Her research has been funded by the National Academy of
Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Berkeley Center
for New Media, and the McDonnell Foundation.
Digital technologies in teaching and learning; educational
equity; digital literacies; pre-service and in-service
teacher education; English education; social semiotics
Ph.D., Education with a Designated Emphasis in New Media
– University of California, Berkeley, 2017
M.S., Education and Social Policy — Northwestern University,
M.A., English Literature — Northwestern University, 2007
B.A., magna cum laude, English — Cornell University,
Higgs, J. (2019). Designing for purposeful-driven technology
use among preservice English teachers. In P. M. Sullivan, J.
Lantz, & B. Sullivan (Eds.), Handbook of research on
integrating digital technology with literacy pedagogies.
Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishers.
Morel, R., Coburn, C., Catterson, A., & Higgs, J.
(2019). The multiple meanings of scale: Implications for
researchers and practitioners. Educational Researcher, 48(6),
Gutiérrez, K., Higgs, J., Lizárraga, J., & Rivero, E.*
(2019). Learning as movement in Social Design-Based Experiments:
Play as a leading activity. Human
Development, 62, 66-82.
Vakil, S., & Higgs, J. (2019). It’s about power: A call to
rethink ethics and equity in computing education.
Communications of the ACM, 62(3), 31-33.
Gutiérrez, K., Cortes, K., Cortez, A., DiGiacomo, D., Higgs,
J., Johnson, P., Lizárraga, J., Mendoza, E., Tien, J., & Vakil,
S.* (2017). Replacing representation with imagination: Finding
ingenuity in everyday practices. Review of Research in
Education, 41, 30-60. *Second authors are listed
Freedman, S. W., Hull, G. A., Higgs, J., & Booten, K. (2016).
Teaching writing in a digital and global age: Toward access,
learning, and development for all. In C. Bell & D. Gitomer
(Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching (5th ed.).
(pp. 1389-1449). Washington, DC: American Educational Research
Schultz, K., Hull, G. A., & Higgs, J. (2015). After writing,
after school. In C. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald
(Eds.), Handbook of writing research (2nd
ed.). (pp. 102-115). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Higgs, J., Miller, C. A., & Pearson, P. D. (2013). Classroom
digital interaction: High expectations, misleading metaphors, and
the dominance of Netspeak. In K. E. Pytash, and R. E. Ferdig,
(Eds.), Exploring technology for writing and writing
instruction (pp. 239-260). Hershey, PA: IGI Global
Publishers. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4341-3
Stornaiuolo, A., Higgs, J., & Hull, G. A. (2013). Social
media as authorship: Methods for studying literacies and
communities online. In P. Albers, T. Holbrook, & A.S. Flint
(Eds.), New methods of literacy research (pp.
224-237). New York, NY: Routledge.
Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of
California, Davis, 2018-present
Awards and Honors
2018 – Division K Outstanding Dissertation Award,
American Educational Research Association
2016 – National Academy of Education/Spencer
Dissertation Fellowship (2016-2017 cohort)
2016 – Peter Lyman Graduate Fellowship in New Media,
Berkeley Center for New Media
2014 – Fellow, Summer Institute for Preparing Future
Faculty, University of California, Berkeley
2014 – Russell Family Fellowship, University of
2012 – Finalist, Center for Information Technology
Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) Big Ideas Contest (1
of 9 teams selected from 150+ submissions), University of
2011 – Lily Wong Fillmore Award, University of
2007 – Distinguished Thesis Award, Northwestern
Courses Taught at UC Davis
ED 180A/B: Computers in Education for English Language Arts
and Social Science
ED 292: Digital Literacies
ED 205B: Ethnographic Research in Schools II: Field-based