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.

Sonja Baumer

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Personal Information


I have diverse educational background including psychology, education and communication and media studies. After receiving my PhD from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I joined Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition at the University of California, San Diego. During my stay at LCHC, I became involved with the Fifth Dimension project and with the analysis and design of informal learning settings that mix play with education utilizing computer and multimedia technology.
Informed by multiple theoretical approaches (sociocultural and activity theory, play-pedagogy, media studies, studies of childhood and youth cultures) I joined the Digital Youth project to study the role of new media in producing and mediating youth’s culture within the new sociocultural ecologies in which youth are growing up. My research focuses on the video web sharing service YouTube. Unlike the regular TV tube, YouTube lifts the barrier that separates media producers and performers from their audience, allowing people to broadcast from their own bedrooms, create exciting videos and publish them on the web to millions of viewers. My goal is to understand how viewing and production of videos on YouTube help people make sense of their own lives and identities.

Informal learning and social development of American youth on YouTube

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