20 November 2008

Report published on three-year digital youth research project

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Digital youth
A three-year research project that explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives has just published its report.

Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures” is a collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley.

By socializing, tinkering with technology and intensely delving into media, teens and children on the Internet “are picking up basic social and technical skills they need to fully participate in contemporary society,” according to a three-year national study released today, reports the Mercury News. […]

The $3.3 million study, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, found that youths use online networks to extend friendships, acquire technical skills, learn from each other, explore interests and develop expertise.

The study used several teams of researchers to interview more than 800 young people and their parents and to observe teenagers online for more than 5,000 hours

You can find the main insights below, but Mizuko Ito, a research scientist in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who was the lead researcher on the study, also provides her own background.

Report: Summary | White paper | Full report | Press release and video
Reviews: The New York Times | Mercury News

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