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

Creative Commons License

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.


Neighborhood and Community Research Sites

Rather than see technology access in terms of inequalities of “haves and have-nots” or “digital divides,” we turn our attention to the broader social contexts (family, school, community) that structure diverse uses of new media and the life trajectories that lead to certain patterns of adoption. Our strategy to sample from a variety of locations, as well as interview protocols and surveys that solicit life-trajectory information, will help us tell this aspect of the story. We are particularly focused upon differences in lifestyle as expressed in consumption and production of digital technologies and communication channels.

Homes and Neighborhoods

Digital Media in an Urban Landscape
Lisa Tripp, Becky Herr-Stephenson, and Katynka Martínez

Coming of Age in Silicon Valley: Digital Media in Families
Heather A. Horst

Living Digital: Teens' Social Worlds and New Media
C.J. Pascoe

Rural and Urban Youth (Living Digital: Teens' Social Worlds and New Media)
Christo Sims

Megan Finn, David Schlossberg, Judd Antin, and Paul Poling

Discovering the Social Context of Kids' Technology Use through Photo Elicitation
Dan Perkel and Sarita Yardi

Learning Institutions: Media-Literacy Programs and After-School Programs

The Social Dynamics of Media Production in an After-School Setting
Judd Antin, Dan Perkel, and Christo Sims

Teaching and Learning with Multimedia
Lisa Tripp and Becky Herr-Stephenson

Information the Wiki Way: The Cognitive Processing of Collaborative Knowledge
Laura Robinson

Searching for Count Whistleboy: Explorations in Collaborative Storytelling through Design Research
Dan Perkel and Sarita Yardi

Media Literacy Education: Understanding Technology and Online Media in the Lives of Middle-School Girls
Sarita Yardi and Sarai Mitnick

Wondering, Wandering, and Wireless: An Ethnography of the Explainers and Their Brief Affair with a Mobile Technology
Alison Billings

Interest-Based and Networked Sites

Traditionally we contrast public and private spaces, but digital spaces do not fit easily into these categories. Our research on online sites that mediate between private identities and public displays investigates the ways in which kids use the Internet to negotiate their sense of self, identities, and interests. Taking seriously the range of kids’ participation in these worlds, we also examine how engagement with digital media, both online and offline, functions as a frame for social interaction and learning. Rather than focus only on the engagement with content, we are investigating the social relations, reputations, and the collateral learning that often accompanies gaming, play, and cultural productions more broadly.

Networked Sites

Teen Sociality in Networked Publics
danah boyd

The Practices of MySpace Profile Production
Dan Perkel

Thanks for Watching: A Study of Video-Sharing Practices on YouTube and Personal Video Blogs
Patricia G. Lange

Broadcast Yourself: Self-Production through Online Video-Sharing on YouTube
Sonja Baumer

Virtual Playgrounds: An Ethnography of Neopets
Laura Robinson and Heather A. Horst

Life in the Linkshell: The Everyday Activity of a Final Fantasy Community
Rachel Cody

Interest-Based Groups

Hip-Hop Music and Meaning in the Digital Age
Dilan Mahendran

Transnational Anime Fandoms and Amateur Cultural Production
Mimi Ito, Rachel Cody, Annie Manion, and Brendan Callum

Mischief Managed: Multimedia Fan Production in the Harry Potter Fandom
Becky Herr-Stephenson

No Wannarexics Allowed: An Analysis of Online Eating Disorder Communities
C.J. Pascoe and Natalie Boero

Team Play: Kids in the Café
Arthur Law

Game Play
Matteo Bittanti