Video created by Annamarie Carlson, doctoral student in Rhetoric, IUB

Digital Gardener-Lite is a Five-Saturday program (consecutive Saturdays from Sept 11-Oct 9) for high school students in South Central Indiana. The program is designed to give students an opportunity to build, learn, and problem-solve in a college-like experience. In the Digital Gardener-Lite program, students will work in small groups alongside IU faculty, librarians, and teaching and learning staff to research and replicate a historic building on the IU Bloomington campus in Minecraft: Education Edition. Participants will also produce reflections on their process throughout the week, culminating in a final presentation of their build and process at the end of the program.

Through the Digital Gardener-Lite program, participants will develop digital literacy, creative problem-solving, and collaboration skills crucial to success in the 21st-century university environment and beyond. Through both daily and week-long challenges, participants will become familiar with a variety of digital tools and IU resources. By the end of the week, participants will be able to critically reflect on and present their creative process, sharing their work with a broader audience. All necessary technology will be provided to participants at no cost. 


Week 1 – Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 – 9:30-3:30pm

Week 2 – Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 – 9:30-3:30pm

Week 3 – Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 – 9:30-3:30pm

Week 4 – Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 – 9:30-3:30pm

Week 5 – Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 – 9:30-3:30pm

IU Bloomington (in-person)

Lunch provided

A Bit more of the Details

This fall’s theme is Campus, Craft, and Collaboration. Participants will learn about the IU Bloomington Campus and its history through its buildings and architecture. Then, working in teams, students will recreate select structures in Minecraft EDU and use those productions and other creative digital authoring tools to tell the stories of those structures. Participants will also be challenged to create a digital learning narrative of their team journey and their own experience.  

DG-Lite attendees will have the opportunity to learn with faculty, librarians, and teaching and learning staff, while developing digital literacy and digital creativity skills through creative techniques and technologies: i.e., ranging from building scrolling webpages and multimedia experiences in Adobe Spark to creating videos (from machinima to talking head production) with Adobe Premiere Rush. Additional components may include working with augmented reality technologies, engaging in makerspace activities, and/or engaging national experts in digital making, play and games, critical/creative multimedia storytelling.

Applicants & Guidelines

The program is limited to 15-18 students this first year. As such, we are asking applicants (and/or nominators) to answer a few key questions on our applicant form. We welcome a range of students in the program, especially underrepresented populations in higher education fields related to digital creativity, games, and technology.

Applicants / Nominees should:

  • have interest in digital tools and technologies, creative production, and/or games; 
  • have a sense of self-responsibility, as they will move about campus with limited supervision; and 
  • should be able to / interested in working collaboratively.

Applications / Nominations can be submitted until August 20, 2021.

To apply or nominate a student, visit:

Notifications & Acceptances

Applicants selected for participation will be notified of acceptance on/by August 27, 2021. 

Program Lead & Support

This program is being led by Dr. Justin Hodgson, Associate Professor of Digital Rhetoric in the Department of English at Indiana University Bloomington, with support from Annamarie Carlson, rhetoric doctoral student, IUB English, and Mathew Decker, Manager of Student Technology Computing in the Learning Spaces division of University Information Technology Services (UITS). 

This program is made possible by support from the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs (OEVPUAA) and the Technology and Learning division of UITS 

For more information, contact Dr. Justin Hodgson at hodgson@indiana.edu.