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Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from a 3-year Ethnographic Study of Digital Youth

For the last three years, I’ve been a part of a team of researchers at Berkeley and USC focused on digital youth practices. This project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, brought together 28 different researchers (led by Mimi Ito and my now deceased advisor Peter Lyman) to examine different aspects of American youth life. As many of you know, I focused on normative teen practices and the ways in which teens engaged in networked publics. We are now prepared to share our findings:

Already, write-ups of our research have hit the press:

Needless to say, we’re excited by our research and uber excited by the coverage that we’re getting. For years, we’ve been finding that youth do amazingly positive things with the technology that they use. Yet, during that time, we’ve watched as parents and news media continue to focus solely on what is negative. We’re hoping that this report will help adults get a decent sense of what’s going on.

For those who are only familiar with my research, I strongly encourage you to check out the report to get a better sense of the context in which I’ve been working. I focus primarily on “friendship-driven practices” but the “interest-driven practices” that motivate creative production, gaming, and all sorts of user generated content are tremendously important. I focus primarily on what happens when teens “hang out” but there’s also amazing learning moments when they mess around and geek out with one another.

The book is currently available only in draft form but an updated print version will be available in the future. In the meantime, enjoy, and feel free to ask questions!!