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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Photo Credits: Ritchie Ly and Geert Allegaert.

Living Digital: Teens and Technology

This ethnographic project examines the way digital technology weaves its way through teenagers’ lives. I am examining the role of technology in a variety of realms – social, educational, political and familial. Through interviews with and observations of teenagers in a working class suburban high school, this project addresses the following topics and questions:

*Appropriation of technology and new media. How do teens modify, create or rework technology?

*Social networks. How do youth utilize technology in their social networks? Are their online social worlds different than or similar to their physical social worlds? What role do teasing and harassment play in their online worlds, if any?

*Politicized identities. How do youth mobilize around political, religious, or other social interests on-line? In what sort of social movements do youth participate in online spaces? What is the relationship between these online worlds and their physical worlds?

*Identity formation. How do teens live out, contest, and solidify raced, gendered, and classed identities online?

*Parents’ approaches to youth technology use. What are the similarities and differences between parents' and youths' approaches to the on-line environment? In what ways, if any, do parents regulate teens' online practices? What sort of fears, if any, do parents harbor about teens’ technological activities?

*Informal learning. How do youth learn using technology in unstructured and informal ways? How might their online “play” be understood as a form of learning?