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Digital Youth Network: Cultivating Digital Media Citizenship in Urban Communities

by Brigid Barron, Kimberley Gomez, Nichole Pinkard and Caitlin K Martin The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 344 pages
AU$29.99 NZ$32.17
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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The popular image of the 'digital native' -- usually depicted as atechnically savvy and digitally empowered teen -- is based on the assumption that all young peopleare equally equipped to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Yet young people in low-incomecommunities often lack access to the learning opportunities, tools, and collaborators (at school andelsewhere) that help digital natives develop the necessary expertise. This book describes oneapproach to address this disparity: the Digital Youth Network (DYN), an ambitious project to helpeconomically disadvantaged middle-school students in Chicago develop technical, creative, andanalytical skills across a learning ecology that spans school, community, home, and online. The bookreports findings from a pioneering mixed-method three-year study of DYN and how it nurturedimaginative production, expertise with digital media tools, and the propensity to share thesecreative capacities with others. Through DYN, students, despite differing interests and identities-- the gamer, the poet, the activist -- were able to find some aspect of DYN that engaged themindividually and connected them to one another. Finally, the authors offer generative suggestionsfor designers of similar informal learning spaces.
Brigid Barron is Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences in Stanford University's Schoolof Education and directs the YouthLAB research group. Kimberley Gomez is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education and InformationStudies at UCLA. Nichole Pinkard is Associate Professor of Interactive Media, Human Computer Interaction, andEducation in the School of Cinema and Interactive Media at DePaul University and founder of theDigital Youth Network. Caitlin K. Martin is Project Manager and a senior researcher in the YouthLAB group at StanfordUniversity.