Marion Walton:

Head facilitator and supervisor to the DigiMobbers, Marion is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her PhD studies (Computer Science, UCT), also included a period of study at the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research in Human Computer Interaction suggests approaches to studying software as a new form of media, and confronts the issues of power and regulation of meaning that arise for users of proprietary software, particularly those in marginalized contexts. Email:

Travis Noakes:

I research the multimodal choices that secondary school, Visual Arts students make in online portfolio and social bookmarking software when following an electronic learning portfolio (or e-portfolio) syllabus. Interested? Visit or view my online presentations. Questions or advice? Contact me on or via LinkedIn, ta.


Silke Hassreiter:

“That you know how we feel!” That was the last sentence I heard from my International Media Management students at NHTV in Breda, The Netherlands when I left for Cape Town. I told them that I would change role for a while and become for the first time in my life a full-time student. My postgraduate diploma in New Media, Governance and Democracy I finished at the Unversity of Leicester, UK online next to my full time job as a lecturer and also my Development Studies at the Unversity Vienna, Austria I did next to a full-time job as an journalist working for a kids news programme at ORF, the public service broadcaster of Austria. Before that I had been working for 13 years as a journalist, camera operator and video editor for the German and Brasilian media on projects world wide. I had a great work, I loved every day, but nothing could really challenge me any more. So I started studying again. And here we go – I am challenged. Thanks to my supervisor Dr. Marion Walton from UCT. Currently I am working on my MA dissertation “Youth, mobile phones and civic engagement through participatory media production”. After 4 months of field work in the low-income area Khayelitsha with 20 teens I am now trying to bring my findings to paper. And to be honest: “I know now how my students feel sometimes.” Email:


Nicola Pallitt (DigiMob blogger & Admin):

I am in the third year of my PhD (Media Studies at UCT). I did my MA (at UCT as well) on the use of educational software at a disadvantaged primary school, where access to such resources were both scarce and new. My PhD thesis is on middle-class urban children’s use and contextual meanings of commercial games. I plan to discuss children’s performances of gendered identities and contextual meanings in relation to games and game rules, how games remediate gendered play and the implications of this perspective for Game Literacy. I have tutored Media Studies first year students for five years, and have presented a seminar on Social Media to second year students in 2010 and 2011. In my spare time, I take belly dance classes. Email:

Muya Kolok0:


Muya Koloko is a PhD student in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town with a MA in Psychological Research (also from UCT). He is from Zambia, but has received most of his education in South Africa (High school – St. Stithians College; University – UCT). His PhD topic is “The meanings of video game violence for South African children”. He hopes to uncover the definitions children give to video game violence as well as any meanings they may attach to it while contrasting the children’s views with the current definitions used in the game rating system in South Africa. He is also a Ju-Jitsu practitioner. Email:


Marian Pike:

Freedom activist, media aficionado, knowledge worker, writer, mother, recent academic and social media explorer Marian Pike grew up in the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth, Addo, Uitenhage, Grahamstown) before moving to Cape Town (3x), Durban( 2x) and Johannesburg (3x).Marian is currently a senior lecturer (media studies) at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) in Cape Town and thus has the usual list of academic qualifications – B.Journ (Rhodes); MBL (UNISA); HDHET (CPUT) – and is currently researching social media for her doctorate. Online Marian joins a world living in a public space. She is just out there indulging her curiosity relating to the what, why and how of things through asking questions. “I really like to keep things as simple as possible, to simplify concepts, to strip away all disguises, and to expose the core,” she says. A lover of long-form reading (books) and short-form research (web) Marian runs, sails, and hikes but is resting her golf clubs, tennis racquet, paddle-ski and bicycle. Outstanding in the job jar, amongst other things, is the Iditarod trail, Great Wall of China, and the Spice Islands. PhD: Topic:  Emerging patterns in Social Media. Email:

Anja Venter:


Anja hails from the “sprawling metropolis” that is Bellville. Having completed her bachelor’s and Honours in Visual Communications at the University of Stellenbosch, working in London and Johannesburg, she likes contemplating how the creatures/colours/noises/bloops and bleeps in her brain can change the world in our digital age. Research topic is very far from finalized as I’ve realized chewing is out of the question with such a big bite, but tentatively titled “Evoking the educational value of mobile gaming in South Africa: Successes, Failures and the future of the medium.” The notion of education in my topic is a bit of a semantic tightrope, as I think I’d much rather approach the subject from a Jane McGonigal-esque ( vantage point. Focusing more on “learning” as a broader concept not necessary related to education. Email:


Katharina Scholtz:

I did my undergrad degree in Film Production at UCT, before moving to Vega for an honours in Brand Strategy – which was a valuable introduction to a different kind of thinking and led me down my path into business. I’ve been with Quirk eMarketing for 3 years now. I started out running their blog and being part of the marketing team, before co-founding Quirk Education just over a year ago. We run distance learning courses in online communications for business. I am in charge of content production – both text and video. I have a very serious love for bacon. I’m in year two of my coursework masters, meaning that I am starting my minor dissertation this year. Email:

Bonnie Robbins:


I was “born and bred” in Cape Town, but migrated to Germany for a few years.  I have spent most of my teaching career in high schools, although my roots are in primary education.  My real passion, however, is the education which happens beyond the walls of a classroom – namely LIFE!!  Whilst I would describe myself as “techno-venturous”, as a religious sister (more commonly, classified as “nun”), I have only recently begun investigating the universe of online communication and social networking.  My work with youth on the Cape flats and in local townships opened the door for further studies and fuelled my interest in mobile communication and learning. I am currently researching the use of MXit for online mathematics tutoring.

MEd topic: Genres and discourse characterising learner- tutor interactions in online synchronous mathematics tutoring.

Other Interests: I enjoy prayer and meditation – it keeps my batteries going and helps me focus; I love the awesome power and calming effect of running water (except burst water mains). Reading a good book always stimulates my mind and challenges my ideas.  Biltong is my “drug of choice”. Email:


Mareike Kramper:

Hi, my name is Mareike. I was born in Hamburg, Germany where I spent the first 24 years of my life. Four years ago, I decided to move to South Africa, where my mother was born…And I am still here. I fell in love with this country, its people and my work.

Over the course of my education at the Media School in Germany, I spent considerable time interning at the Bauer Verlag KG publishing house. I gained experience in all of the company’s various departments and ended up with a working contract in the Advertising and Sales Department, where I enjoyed being part of a team which had just recently launched a new magazine. The magazine is called ‘Welt der Wunder’ (‘World of Miracles’) and should still be around…

Coming to Cape Town inspired me to study again. But this time in English! In the beginning, it was a nightmare. The dictionary was my best friend. However, after a few months I got accustomed to the life of a student.

My Bachelor of Arts degree centred on three major subjects: Film, the Media, and Video Production. Throughout the undergraduate program, I was exposed to the multifaceted world of ‘The Media’, so I decided to base my post-grad research in Media Theory and Practice.

My Honours degree covered different fields of the media. I achieved some insight into branding, media strategies, visual anthropology and was involved in the production of three great documentaries (of which one, Odd Number, will be shown at the Winelands Festival at the end of next month, by the way).

Throughout my studies I have increasingly focused on representations of gender in the media. I realized through precise media marketing strategies one could raise awareness and influence perception towards HIV/AIDS. This stimulated my interest in researching the coverage of health in the media and how media strategies shape and influence behaviour. Therefore, my honours thesis focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness and how HIV-positive mothers make use of information shared through various media channels. It gives particular attention to gender politics, which play an enormous role in HIV/AIDS transmission in South Africa.

After a year of research, and consultation with medical practitioners and NGOs, I decided to develop my honours thesis into my masters dissertation. Lack of research within the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in regards to HIV positive women and pregnancy is a field that is getting my highest attention. The dearth of research focusing specifically on the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies employed by women is a serious gap, especially considering the reality that vertical transmission remains the second largest channel of infection.

If anyone is interested in sharing thoughts, information, data etc please contact me! I am more than happy to share and develop knowledge pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the media. Email:

Leighton Forbes:

Hi, I’m Leighton Forbes from Cape Town, South Africa and I pursued a career in teaching, having qualified from the Cape Town College of Education in Mowbray. I completed my Honours degree in Education at the University of Cape Town. Initially I worked as a classroom teacher at Wynberg Boys Junior and Bishops Preparatory School, having integrated emerging technologies such as interactive whiteboards, computers and software in my own teaching. I was awarded a Scholarship by the National Research Foundation to pursue a Masters in Education degree, where in the field of Applied Language & Literacy Studies, I focused on new computer laboratories placed in low-income, marginal urban school contexts. One of the key challenges my research addresses are how ICT’s operate in sub-elite school contexts in the Western Cape of South Africa, [Khanya Project]. My Thesis, From Classroom to Lab: ICT’s teaching Literacy & Numeracy in an African context, explores how educators engage with the so called ‘new’ literacies in the classroom. I’ve recently completed a contract in Dubai as the ICT Coordinator at the newly accredited International Baccalaureate School (IBO), GEMS World Academy-Dubai. As the ICT Coordinator I was responsible for the effective management of the ICT program and contributed towards policy formation, curriculum innovation and teacher development. Email:

Jaqui Hiltermann:

I am from the ‘sleepy hollow’ that is Pietermaritzburg aka ‘The Borough’ where I studied English, Media and Classical Civilisation at UKZN. Some of my favourite projects include my website on ‘The Internet as the ideal Brechtian Space’ and my Honours ethnographic study on South Park. I launched into Masters thereafter and my dissertation was, ‘Mobile Media Technologies and Public Space: A study of the effect of mobile, wireless and mp3 related technologies on human behaviour and interaction’. After completing my Masters I went to the UK for 3 years where I worked in a publishing house for a caravan magazine. It convinced me that caravanning is definitely not my vibe! I have just relocated to Cape Town and am starting my PhD at UCT which will focus on mobile phones; that’s as much as I know right now. Rugby, Bob Dylan and email are just three of the things I couldn’t live without. Email:

Chilombo Mbenga:

Chilombo Mbenga (ChiChi)

I’m Chilombo Mbenga, currently a Master’s student at the University of Cape Town at the Centre for Film and Media Studies. My research area is Facebook, Youth and Politics and how Facebook can set the agenda for young South Africans through political discourse.  My topic right now is “Agenda setting & Gatewatching: The Role played by Facebook in the Social and Political lives of Young South Africans”. You can visit my research if it sounds cool! Email: