Digital Youth Research, a cross-campus academic project that aims to understand the effects of digital media on young people, published their findings this past Wednesday after 3 years of work by 28 researches and research collaborators. The report claims some interesting findings, namely that “youth use online media to extend friendships and interests” and to “engage in peer-based, self-directed learning online” – findings that run counter to more wide-spread narratives on the subject.
The report, as well as all the other content available digitally from Digital Youth Research, is released under a CC BY-NC license, a decision that should encourage wider-spreading of the report and an increased dialogue on the subject. From the New York Times (via Joi):
Good news for worried parents: All those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.
“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”
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