Kurt Thumlert

Associate Professor

Location(s) / Contact Info:

709, Kaneff Tower - KT
Keele Campus

Email: kthumlert@edu.yorku.ca

Website: Institute for Research on Digital Learning; Seriousplaylab

Scholarly Interests

Kurt Thumlert is an associate professor in York University’s Faculty of Education, an executive member of IRDL (Institute for Research on Digital Literacies), and research associate at Ryerson's RE/Lab (Responsive Ecologies Lab) where he works with/on modular synths and new sound-making tools, and co-emerging sound/music making communities and sites of informal learning. This current work focuses on EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) and explores new relations to sound making tools and skilled practice, as well as related pedagogies stemming from these from explorations. He is a co-lead of the Toronto node of CAMIN (the Canadian Accessible Music Instrument Network).


Research and teaching focus on technology, production pedagogies and new media; the arts and multimodal literacies, and informal/DIY cultural production; the opportunities of digital media, game-based learning and learning through game design. His courses invite students to critically co-explore the sociotechnical resources and participative opportunities of emerging media ecologies, as well as related production-based learning environments.


Chapters in Books


Thumlert, K., Nolan, J., McBride, M.. Chan, H. (in press). Strange play: Parametric design and modular learning. In A. Kitzman, C. Thorén, E. Engström and E. Teboul (Eds.) Patch Up!: Exploring synthetic sound and modular thought, New York: Routledge.


Abikar*, A., Aden*, A., Thumlert, K., Dahya, N., & Jenson, J. (2021). Refugees respond: Using digital tools, networks and ‘production pedagogies’ to envision possible futures. In W. Giles & L. Miller (Eds.), Borderless Higher Education for Refugees.  London, UK: Bloomsbury.


Thumlert, K., & Nolan, J. (2020). Angry noise: Recomposing music pedagogies in indisciplinary modes. In P. Trifonas (Ed.), The International Handbook of Cultural Studies and Education Reader. New York, NY: Springer


Alonso-Yáñez, G., Thumlert, K., de Castell, S., & Jenson J. (2019). Toward a production pedagogy model for critical science and technology interventions. In P. Sengupta, M.-C. Shanahan, & K. Baumie (Eds.), Critical, Transdisciplinary and Embodied Approaches in STEM Education. New York, NY: Springer.


Thumlert, K., de Castell, S., & Jenson, J. (2018). Learning through game design: A production pedagogy. In M. Ciussi (Ed.), European Conference on Games Based Learning. Sonning Common, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International.  


Thumlert, K., de Castell, S., & Jenson, J. (2017). Short cuts & extended techniques: Rethinking relations between technology and educational theory. In T. Fenwick & R. Edwards (Eds.), Revisiting Actor Network Theory in Education. London: Routledge.


Articles in Journals


Lotherington, H., Thumlert, K., *Tomin, B., & *Boreland, T. (2022). Redesigning for mobile plurilingual futures. OLBI Journal Special Issue: Multiliteracies and Plurilingual Pedagogies in the 21st century: Critical Responses to the New London Group’s ‘A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies’. (Publication Date: November 2021).


Thumlert, K., Nolan, J., & *Chan & H. Kitzmann, A. (2021). ‘Together, Apart: Modular sound communities in the age of COVID-19’. The Journal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing.


Thumlert, K., Harley, D. & Nolan, J. (2020). Sound beginnings: Learning, communicating and make sense with sound. Music Educators Journal 107(2).


Thumlert, K., Smith, B., Hébert, C., & *Tomin. B.  (2020). Space is the place: Pre-service teachers re/map cartographic landscapes. Digital Culture & Education 12(1), 52-71.


Hébert, C., Thumlert, K., & Jenson, J. (2020). #Digital parents: Intergenerational learning through a digital literacy workshop. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 53, 1-58.


Epstein, I., Baljko, M., Thumlert, K., Smith, J. A., Su, Y., Kelly, E.. &  Zaki-Azat, J. (2020). ‘A Video of Myself Helps Me Learn’: A Scoping review of the evidence of video making for situated learning. The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.


 Alonso-Yáñez, G., Thumlert, K., de Castell, S., & Jenson, J. (2019). Pathways to sustainable futures: A ‘production pedagogy’ model for STEM education. Futures: The Journal of Policy, Planning and Futures Studies, 108(April), 27-36.


Thumlert, K., Owston, R., & *Mulhotra, T. (2018). Transforming school culture through inquiry driven leaning and iPads. The Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 3(2), 79-96.


de Castell, S., Jenson, J. Thumlert, K., & Muehrer, R. (2016). Assessing assessment: An exploratory study of game-based, multimodal learning. Epidemic. Digital Culture & Education 8(1), April 2016.


Alonso, G., Thumlert, K., & de Castell, S. (2016). Re-Mapping integrative conservation: (Dis)Coordinate participation in a biosphere reserve in Mexico. Conservation and Society, 14(2), 134-145.


Thumlert, K. (2015). Affordances of equality: Ranciere, emerging media & the new ‘Amateurs’. Studies in Art Education, 56(2), 114-126.


Thumlert, K., de Castell, S. & Jenson, J. (2015). Short cuts & extended techniques: Rethinking relations between technology and educational theory. Educational Philosophy & Theory, 47(8), 786-803.


de Castell, S., Jenson, J. & Thumlert, K. (2014). From Simulation to imitation: Controllers, corporeality, and mimetic play. Simulation and Gaming, 45(3), 322-355.


de Castell, S., Taylor, N., Jenson, J., & Thumlert, K. (2014). Rethinking foundations: Theoretical and methodological challenges (and opportunities) in virtual worlds research. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 6(1), 3-20

Courses Taught

  • Digital Games and Learning (GS/EDUC 5863)
  • Issues in Digital Technology in Education (GS/EDUC 5860)
  • New Media Literacies and Culture (ED/EDIS 3610)
  • Research and Issues in Language, Culture and Teaching (GS/EDUC 5100)