I've started reading the white paper "Living and Learning with New Media," a summary of the immense, three-year, multi-study investigation of how American youth are using digital media for learning. Funded by the Digital Media & Learning initiative of the MacArthur Foundation, it incorporates the work of 23 researchers under the overall guidance of Mimi Ito, Heather A. Horst, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Patricia G. Lange, C.J. Pascoe, and Laura Robinson.
Lot of really interesting findings that connect to the Global Kids' approach to learning, including:
- The majority of youth use new media to “hang out” and extend existing local friendships.
- Young people acquire various forms of technical and media literacy by exploring new interests, tinkering, and “messing around” with new forms of media.
- Youth “geek out” and dive into a topic or talent, which is highly social and engaged, although usually not driven primarily by local friendships.
These themes of "hanging out", "messing around", and "geeking out" form the basis of a subsequent book that will expand greatly upon the findings reported in this white paper. Really interesting reading for those who are interested in how this generation of young people are socializing, creating, flirting, playing, and developing their identities.