Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media

About Digital Youth

"Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures" is a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives. Read more

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The work on this site is licensed under a CC-BY-NC. If you share or re-use any work found on the site, please credit the original author and the Digital Youth Project and link back to the Digital Youth Project.

Photo Credits: Ritchie Ly and Geert Allegaert.

Peter Lyman's blog

What We've Learned So Far

The Digital Youth project began in 2003 with three questions about informal learning and digital media.

  • How is digital communication – the mobile phone and the Internet – changing the scale, scope and the dynamics of kids’ social worlds?
  • What new learning skills and knowledge practices are developing from the use of digital media – ranging from seeking information to the creation of new expressions of ideas? How are digital authoring tools enabling kids to create new kinds of cultural products?
  • What do kids think that they learn from games, and how do these skills transfer to other learning places like schools – if they do? What do kids learn from participation in gamer communities and communication?
  • What have we learned so far, half way through our ethnographic research project to explore these questions?

    Digital communication has two dimensions in our research: the uses of instant messaging (IM) in kids’ lives; and social networks creating and sustaining online communities.