New Learning Institute - Researchhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/research enYouth Social Norms and Privacy Online: Interview with danah boyd, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-iii-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l2oeCHKQvVk/S1zvJy_OWNI/AAAAAAAABYw/hdKywOx4mew/s640/RobFix_KQED_Pearson_GreenScreen037.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l2oeCHKQvVk/S1zvJy_OWNI/AAAAAAAABYw/hdKywOx4mew/s640/RobFix_KQED_Pearson_GreenScreen037.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 450px;" class="feature-top" /></a><em><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, we interviewed danah boyd—Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Visiting Researcher at Harvard University’s Law School, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales—on subjects including how youth develop online identities, social norms, and privacy issues. Here, in the third and final part of the interview, she discusses how different communities bring different behavioral norms into the online spaces.</em></em><em><em><img id="__mce_tmp" /></em></em></p><p><em></em>Listen to the full interview here, with bonus content about how youth and adults view online bullying differently. danah shares two cases from her extensive field study to illustrate how young people deal with online drama.</p><p> <object id="pcm_player_episode51035" width="600" height="102" data="http://podcastmachine.com/swf/player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://podcastmachine.com/swf/player.swf" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="pluginspage" value="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="flashvars" value="file=http://podcastmachine.com/podcasts/8746/episodes/51035.json&amp;width=650&amp;height=111&amp;skin=http://podcastmachine.com/swf/skin_pcm1.swf&amp;fullscreen=true&amp;bgcolor=#000000&amp;playlist=bottom&amp;subscribebutton=false&amp;downloadbutton=false&amp;playlistcolumns=1&amp;playlistrows=1&amp;autostart=false&amp;playlistsize=80" /></object></p><p><!--break--><br /><strong>How do we begin to formulate social norms around new media? It sounds like what you previously said, that kids are taking practices that they used to use to communicate with each other and build community and move that to the online spaces?</strong></p><p>I think the other thing that becomes really noticeable online is that you have hugely diverse ideas of norms and they come colliding into one another in really odd ways, which is that the norms within, say, a suburb of Atlanta, of a middle class black community are going to look very different than the norms of a rural, Appalachian white community, which are going to look very different from the social norms of an urban Latino community. So you see these vastly different norms getting built out around the same technology. </p><p>In trying to reflect what happened with Myspace, one of the things that becomes really noticeable to me is that people were not prepared to see norms that were different than theirs, and they flipped out and there was a moral panic; and the irony with Facebook is that people mostly only see things that are exactly like themselves, and so they think that everything on Facebook is exactly like their type of people. And one of the things that I love is the ability to see such vastly diverse ideas of how people use Facebook, which is totally different. So even though these social norms are relatively locally defined, they’re totally different, even with the same technology.</p><p>Part of it is what we do when we go online is that we bring our friends with us, and so the norms that are common within our communities become the norms online. And you know, the fact is that there are hugely different norms, even across this country, that are inflected by cultural practices that are driven by race and ethnicity, that are driven by religion, that are driven by socioeconomic status, that are driven by any form of cultural background that you can imagine. And then, of course, overlay gender and sexuality onto this and we see all sorts of wide variations. But this doesn’t mean that people are comfortable seeing worlds that are different from theirs. Myspace was so ironic for me because during the time when everyone was flipping out about there being so much nudity and crassness, et cetera et cetera, I actually scraped a lot of Myspace and did some analysis of it and found that far more young people talked about Jesus and the Bible and used Biblical quotes than ever had sexual content on their profiles. But perceptions get scaled by those who are looking and responding, and I think that one of the things that becomes really challenging is the roles of parents in a lot of this; because I think that on one hand, a lot of parents want to breed tolerance in their kids, and on the other hand work very hard to keep their kids away from “those” type of people, for whatever characteristic “those” are in their community, and that becomes really challenging because building gated communities online, it reproduces all of the structural inequalities that we see offline.</p><p><strong>Just one more question: How do you see the trends of communication changing for young people?</strong></p><p>The United States is terribly behind on all things mobile; it was kind of depressing for so long, and it’s finally caught up. Young people in the United States are finally texting, and of course we’re seeing everything go mobile. And I think there are a lot of interesting, innovative possibilities for what mobile can mean for communication technologies, and we’re still in the uncertainty stage of what it will actually look like. But I certainly see mobile as driving a lot of this. And there’s always this interesting tension in terms of communication between private or one-to-one communication, which is heavily mobile at this point, and more group or public communication. And public for young people, by and large, means everybody that they know; it doesn’t necessarily mean all people across all space and all time. And so, young people are beginning to experiment with community services online in part because Facebook has become untenable for young people because it’s where their parents are spending time hanging out with their [parents’] friends, and you know what? It’s just kind of lame to hang out where your parents do, so Facebook is still really popular for all sorts of photo sharing, and all sorts of catching up with basic things and events and certain things like that, but you’re seeing a lot more of group communication through different kinds of services, and its still very variable and still emergent; so you see Tumblr, you see Twitter being used by some, you see UStream being used by some, you see a variety of just different tools that young people are experimenting with, but nothing is stabilized, so it’s still really the early adopter stage.</p><p><strong>Special thanks:</strong></p><p>We’d like to extend a special thanks to danah for taking the time to talk with us.</p><p><strong>Additional resources on danah boyd’s work:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/" target="_blank">Digital Youth Network: Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media</a>   </li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/TakenOutOfContext.pdf" target="_blank">Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in in Networked Publics</a> (PDF)</li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf" target="_blank">Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life</a> (PDF)</li></ul></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/information-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Information Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-inquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Inquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div></div></div>Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:29:24 +0000Jennifer Dick162 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-iii-0#commentsYouth Social Norms and Privacy Online: Interview with danah boyd, Part IIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-ii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><img src="http://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l2oeCHKQvVk/S1zvJy_OWNI/AAAAAAAABYw/hdKywOx4mew/s640/RobFix_KQED_Pearson_GreenScreen037.jpg" alt="KQED Pearson" title="KQED Pearson" width="600" height="450" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" id="__mce_tmp" /></p><p><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, we interviewed danah boyd—Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Visiting Researcher at Harvard University’s Law School, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales—on subjects including how youth develop online identities, social norms, and privacy issues. Here, in excerpts from Part II of the interview, she discusses how young people control private information in public online spaces by “hiding in plain sight.”</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;"><!--break--></span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Would you talk a little more about the social steganography and its implications for young people’s interactions with each other? </span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span> Social steganography as a concept is really the idea of hiding in plain sight, and my favorite example around this is a young woman that I met who I call “Carmen.” Carmen is a young Latina. She basically had a bad day: she had broken up with her boyfriend and she was feeling really, really sad, and her mother was really active on her Facebook.</p><p>[Carmen] was trying to figure out how she could post something on Facebook because she wanted to let her friends know that she was sort of having a bad day, that she was feeling really sad about the whole thing; but she didn’t want her mom to think she was suicidal, and her mom had a tendency to over-react to everything. So she was originally going to put a really sappy song lyric up and she decided that this would be too costly, that she would have to do too much explaining to her mom. So instead, she decided to post the song lyrics from The Life of Brian called “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” She posted the song lyrics without any context, without any reference to the movie, and her friends, who had recently seen Life of Brian with her, completely understood this, but her mother didn’t. And so when her mother saw this and said, “Oh, it’s just words,” immediately she commented, “Oh, it looks like you’re having a great day,” because “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” is a very positive song. Her friends, on the other hand, having recently watched the movie, know that this takes place when the key character Brian is about to be executed. They immediately text her and ask how she’s doing.</p><p>So the way in which she sort of put this information out, knowing that those who were recently part of that conversation would recognize the reference, her mother would not because she knew her mother had never consumed this content, had never seen Monty Python. And it also became layered at another level, which is that all sorts of people who may have access to her profile, including her teachers, coaches, these kinds of folks, wouldn’t know what she was talking about. They may recognize Life of Brian, but they have no idea that she had just broken up with her boyfriend. There’s this way that she’s hiding this information from different audiences in different ways because you needed both of those pieces of information, the idea that she’d broken up with her boyfriend and the idea that the Monty Python movie is referring to a specific thing to really get what the context of that was.</p><p>So the key with social steganography is this idea of hiding in plain sight, and the concept of steganography is a really ancient term used to refer to the idea of wax tablets, or the idea, as horrific as it is, where people would tattoo messages on the heads of their slaves, wait until their hair grew back, and send them off; and then the person receiving them would know to shave their head to get the messages. The history of this, of course, is sordid, but it’s this idea of hiding in plain sight, that you have to know where to look. And in some ways, that’s the strongest kind of encryption you can get.</p><p>What you see is that young people are using this as a really critical strategy for putting out information where they rely on people looking at this and understanding what’s going on. And it’s really powerful to see just because it’s so much stronger of a way of encoding information than anything else. I guess I should also note that one of the things that tends to shock a lot of adults is that young people share their passwords pretty frequently. I’m waiting to get numbers on this, but we’re talking well over 50 percent have shared it with somebody, and the vast majority of [teens] have shared them with their parents who have been pretty much forceful about sharing a password. But the message that has been set forth on this is that if you trust me, you will share your password with me. Whether the trust is through coercion or not depends on the family.</p><p>What ends up happening is that teens also share their password with their friends and with their significant others. Not unlike the idea of sharing your locker combination, back when we were all in school with lockers. And so the idea is that you share as a way of signaling trust, and you also share for really functional reasons. Just like you wanted your friend to pick up your textbook at school because you were absent that day, you may want your significant other or friends to check your messages on Facebook because you can’t get access to Facebook today. So it is also really important to realize that there is a lot of information that becomes accessible functionally, so a lot more of it becomes controlling access to meaning instead of controlling the access to content.</p><p><strong>I think that kids have been doing this for a long time. I used to be a classroom teacher and I remember my students quoting song lyrics in class, or I mean, I think to some degree, some types of slang are used this way; they know their teacher is not going to know what this word is.</strong></p><p>There’s mistaken belief that everything involving new technology must be new. The vast majority of what I see young people do is modernize old strategies. They’re taking things that have been done for a long time and finding new, weird ways of doing it on the Internet.</p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">To be continued...</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span>How do online youth spaces develop social norms? How do our physical communities affect our online communities? Next time we will publish Part III of our interview with danah, focusing on the answers to these questions and how mobile devices are changing youth communication trends. Our final installment will also include an unabridged audiocast with bonus content. Stay tuned!</p><p><strong>Additional resources on danah boyd’s work:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/" target="_blank">Digital Youth Network: Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media</a></li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/TakenOutOfContext.pdf" target="_blank">Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics</a> (PDF)</li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf" target="_blank">Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life</a> (PDF)</li></ul></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-inquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Inquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/information-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Information Literacy</a></div></div></div>Thu, 21 Jul 2011 18:07:00 +0000Jennifer Dick109 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-ii#commentsYouth Social Norms and Privacy Online: Interview with danah boyd, Part Ihttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-i <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l2oeCHKQvVk/S1zvJy_OWNI/AAAAAAAABYw/hdKywOx4mew/s640/RobFix_KQED_Pearson_GreenScreen037.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l2oeCHKQvVk/S1zvJy_OWNI/AAAAAAAABYw/hdKywOx4mew/s640/RobFix_KQED_Pearson_GreenScreen037.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 450px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, we interviewed danah boyd—Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Visiting Researcher at Harvard University’s Law School, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales—on subjects including how youth develop online identities, social norms, and privacy issues. Here, in excerpts from Part I of the interview, she discusses how youth navigate online privacy issues.</em></p><p><em></em><!--break--><br /><br /><a href="http://www.danah.org/images/danah/iSchool3.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://www.danah.org/images/danah/iSchool3.jpg" alt="" align="left;" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 154px; height: 240px;" /></a> danah boyd is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Associate at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her work examines everyday practices involving social media, with specific attention to youth engagement, privacy, and risky behaviors. She recently co-authored Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media and formerly co-directed the Youth and Media Policy Working Group, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. She blogs at <a href="http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/">http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/</a> and tweets at @zephoria.</p><p><br /><br /></p><div> </div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;">Tell us about your current research.</span><br /><br />My research goes in a couple of different places right now. One is that I’ve been doing a lot of ethnographic work trying to understand how young people build out a sense of privacy in very public places, and that line of inquiry is really pushing back against the myth that kids don’t care about privacy. I’ve spent a long time watching young people and their engagement with social media and it’s very clear that they care deeply about privacy; so I’ve been looking at the strategies that they attempt to achieve privacy, how it fails, how they try to cope with it, who they actually consider with regard to privacy, etc. That’s a sort of fun, on-the-ground set of fieldwork.<br /><br />Another set of ongoing work that I’ve been doing is looking at some of the legal structures around kids and privacy. There are various laws in the U.S. that attempt to restrict data collection about young people, but inadvertently tend to limit their access to all sorts of online places. So I’m doing different research there. One that is about to go to the field is looking at parents’ understanding of age restrictions online…<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">What are some of the nuances of privacy that exist for young people today?</span><br /><br />The whole thing about privacy is that there are many different ways to understand what privacy is, and this has been debated by philosophers, legal scholars, political scientists, and computer scientists for a very long time, so I’m not trying to say that I have “the” answer to “What is privacy?” But it’s very clear to me when I think about teenage enactment of privacy, and I look at it from their perspective, that there are two really important factors at play, and those two really critical factors are the ability to control the social situation and the ability to have agency within that social situation.<br /><br />Control and agency are really critical factors in all this, which comes out in really important ways: even if you can technically control something, if you don’t have the agency in that environment, it doesn’t matter because you’ll lose that control immediately… Young people often lack agency in their social situations just because of the presence of their parents and their parents’ belief that they have the right to violate privacy at any given point. A good example of this is that even if a teenager can figure out how to structurally lock down their Facebook—which, albeit, is extremely difficult these days—all their parents have to do is look over their shoulder, and that really ruptures any chance to achieve a form of structural privacy. So one of the things my colleague Alice Marwick and I spend a lot of time doing in the field is looking at what are the strategies that young people do to try to achieve privacy, and how does it play out.<br /><br />We found three categories of strategies that we think are really interesting. The first is the attempt to assert social norms. This is the equivalent of putting up the “keep out” sign on the door in the bedroom, which is like, “I’m going to tell you what the social norms are, and you should follow them.” The challenge with this is the ability to assert is really an interesting one, but then the ability to regulate that assertion is extremely difficult, and this is where power comes into play in really significant ways. And so we see countless adults who are like, “Well, it’s publicly accessible, therefore I should have the right to access it,” violating any attempt to do social norm management.<br /><br />The next category of strategies that we see comes into what we think of as structural strategies. These are strategies that involve using features in the technology, locking doors, trying to deal with the architecture—whether it’s the online architecture or the physical architecture—to try to assert control over a specific space, a specific set of content. One of the things we see in all of these structural strategies is that they can often be violated through basic social hacks. Even if you can stop who sees your content, it just takes one of your friends to copy and paste things and pass it on for the structural strategy to have failed.<br /><br />The third and strongest of the strategies that we see (that we haven’t found good phrasing for, but we’re going with the idea that they’re social strategies) are when young people work to regulate access to meaning instead of trying to regulate access to content. So in other words, a good example of this would be, “Oh my god, I can’t believe what she said.” And if you post something like that, everybody who’s in the know knows who “she” is and what was said. It becomes a signal and it becomes a block. So you might be able to say, “Oh, who are you talking about here?” And depending then on how I feel about you, I may or may not tell you who that is. And needless to say, parents are usually kept in the dark on this one. That’s a way of making it visible that you’re hiding; but there’s another sub-practice in there, which I think is really interesting, which we talk about in social steganography. And the idea of social steganography—a cryptography concept—it means “hiding in plain sight.” Young people post song lyrics all the time. Some song lyrics are just song lyrics. Some song lyrics have either meaning to them specifically, generally, et cetera. And so we see young people putting up song lyrics as a way of encoding content, encoding concepts, encoding meaning into written text.<br /><br />So these are just some of the strategies that we see, and one of the things that becomes really interesting here is that obviously gender is a factor that we see, young women in particular being much more consciously aware of all these different kinds of social protocols. But what’s been really noticeable to us, and what we’re having a really hard time untangling, is that it seems like an even more salient factor has to do with class, and that the more marginalized youth are, the more innovative they seem to get with some of these strategies… And they’ve learned that there’s the idea of street smarts, and they’re taking the notion of street smarts to the digital street.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">To be continued...</span><br /><br />How do youth view online communities? How do they navigate the different group norms of friends and family? How do they use highly contextual information to keep sensitive information private in online public places?<br /><br />Next time we will publish Part II of our interview with danah, focusing on what she’s learned about online behavioral norms and privacy from the youth with whom she’s worked.<br /><br /><strong>Additional resources on danah boyd’s work:</strong><br /><ul><li><a href="http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/">Digital Youth Network: Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media</a></li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/TakenOutOfContext.pdf">Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics</a> (PDF)</li><li><a href="http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf">Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life</a> (PDF)</li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4566434996105493279?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-inquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Inquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/information-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Information Literacy</a></div></div></div>Wed, 13 Jul 2011 19:02:00 +0000Jennifer Dick111 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-social-norms-and-privacy-online-interview-danah-boyd-part-i#commentsThe Young and the Digital: Interview with S. Craig Watkins, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-iii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Yl_z9SYIE8/TW7X91d3qiI/AAAAAAAABdY/rKhARX03ozM/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Yl_z9SYIE8/TW7X91d3qiI/AAAAAAAABdY/rKhARX03ozM/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" class="feature-top" /></a></p><p> </p><div><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/young-and-digital-interview-with-s.html">we interviewed University of Texas at Austin Professor S. Craig Watkins</a> on subjects including his research, social media in different contexts, the participation gap, and the quality and consequences of young people’s media engagement. Here, in Part III of the interview, he discusses his thoughts on social media trends and youth engagement with social media in the future.</em><br /><br />Listen to the full interview here:</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><object id="pcm_player_episode41443" data="http://podcastmachine.com/swf/player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="111"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="flashvars" value="file=http://podcastmachine.com/podcasts/8746/episodes/41443.json&amp;width=600&amp;height=111&amp;skin=http://podcastmachine.com/swf/skin_pcm1.swf&amp;fullscreen=true&amp;bgcolor=#000000&amp;playlist=bottom&amp;subscribebutton=false&amp;downloadbutton=false&amp;playlistcolumns=1&amp;playlistrows=1&amp;autostart=false&amp;playlistsize=80" /><param name="src" value="http://podcastmachine.com/swf/player.swf" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="pluginspage" value="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" /></object></div></div><p> </p><p><strong>How would you characterize social networks in the future? As they relate to individuals of different backgrounds or gender? </strong></p><div><br /><div><div>I think in the future, social networks, and we are seeing evidence of this now – particularly if we think about online social networks, social networks that are maintained via platforms like Facebook or Tumblr or some other platform that is on the horizon if it’s not here already – that they will evolve into very complex systems. It will be interesting to see at what point people begin to prefer social networks that enable them to exercise a finer degree of control over their networks.</div><div> </div><div>What I mean by that is, for example, I was just having a conversation with a friend yesterday and he was saying why he didn’t like Facebook, or why he didn’t appreciate the fact that Facebook didn’t allow him to maintain the kinds of distinctions in his network that he appreciated and thought were important. For example, maybe his colleagues at work and the conversations he shares with them may be very unique or specific to that situation. Then there’s family. Then there may be friends he does a lot of recreational or social activities with. So it seems to me that at some point in the very near future people will be looking for social networks that allow them to really begin to manage, with a greater degree of precision, the different sub-networks that make up their larger social networks. That’s not only about privacy; it’s about complexity, the complexity of us as individuals, the different relationships we develop, the meaningful kinds of relationships and networks that make up our total selves, our total lives. And, to what degree will online tools and platforms be able to recognize that complexity?</div><div> </div><strong>How do you see trends of communication changing for young people?</strong></div><div> </div><div>…I never make the mistake of thinking that I totally get it, or that I totally understand young people and their motivation and their engagement with technology, because it is always in such a constant state of flux. I preface anything that I may say with that. But I do think it’s clear that what will be interesting, in terms of the youth population, is what I like to refer to as “trickle-down technology” and the ways in which particularly mobile media, and to some degree social media, are now trickling down to younger and younger children.</div><div> </div><div>It wasn’t that long ago when the idea of a middle schooler owning his or her own mobile phone was kind of a stretch, where most parents couldn’t wrap their head around that idea. Now, that is increasingly a fairly common experience in a growing number of households around this country. What we’re really beginning to see now is even younger and younger children below the middle school ages are beginning to request, demand, and ask for their own mobile devices – maybe it’s an iPod, in some cases maybe it’s a phone. In terms of youth and communication, clearly everything will pivot around mobile: their lives will pivot around mobile; their modes of communication will be mediated via mobile technologies.</div><div> </div><div>What I’m really intrigued by is the degree to which the age of adoption begins to get younger and younger. I can imagine in the very near future where kids in second, third, and fourth grade, for example, will have their own mobile phones. They already have their own mobile gaming platforms, their own mobile gaming and music devices; and you can expect that, in a very near, short period, even young children’s lives will be completely saturated with mobile media, applications, technologies, and modes of communication in ways that, just a few short years ago, would have been almost impossible for us to have imagined.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Special thanks</strong></div><div> </div><div>We’d like to extend a special thanks to Professor S. Craig Watkins for taking the time to talk with us.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional resources on Professor Watkins’ work, digital media, and learning:</strong><br /><ul><li><a href="http://www.theyoungandthedigital.com/">The Young and the Digital</a></li><li><a href="http://vimeo.com/14777251">DML Conference 2011: Designing Learning Futures (S. Craig Watkins)</a></li><li><a href="http://www.dmlcentral.net/conference2011">Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011 Website</a></li></ul></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4483278289496818781?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/participation-gap" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Participation Gap</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Wed, 02 Mar 2011 23:43:00 +0000Sarah Davis129 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-iii#commentsThe Young and the Digital: Interview with S. Craig Watkins, Part IIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-ii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9DdU45kZinw/TW7UL2FbO3I/AAAAAAAABdQ/iPNKfg-hRPk/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9DdU45kZinw/TW7UL2FbO3I/AAAAAAAABdQ/iPNKfg-hRPk/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5579630288320543602" border="0" /></a></p><p> </p><div><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/young-and-digital-interview-with-s.html">we interviewed University of Texas at Austin Professor S. Craig Watkins</a> on subjects including his research and his thoughts on the future of social media. Here, in Part II of the interview, he discusses the participation gap, social media in different contexts, and the quality and consequences of young people’s media engagement.</em></div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div></div><p><strong>Professor Watkins, please discuss the digital divide in the context of social networks. </strong></p><div><br /><div><div>My background and training is in the field of Sociology, so I bring those kinds of inclinations, those kinds of questions, those kinds of inquiry, into my investigation of digital media. I’m always interested in the context in which people are engaged with digital media – how factors such as gender, race, geography, class, and education impact the ways in which people participate in the social media universe.</div><div> </div><div>One of the things we pay close attention to throughout our research is how these markers of race and class do indeed influence what is happening in the digital world. There have been some amazing changes just within the last five to ten years. Ten years ago, there was a great concern about the digital divide – where it really began to establish itself as a formidable story about the technology-rich and technology poor divide; the technology haves and the technology have-nots. What has happened since then, over the last five to ten years, is a kind of a transformation of how we now think about technology and social inequality. Rather than thinking about it in terms of an access gap (those who have access to technology and those who do not have access to technology), we tend to now think about it in terms of the participation gap – that is, looking at the quality of engagement with technology, the quality of engagement with the Internet, the quality of engagement with mobile media platforms – because communities and populations that just five years ago were rarely, if ever, discussed or mentioned in debates and public conversations about technology are now very central to how technology is being adopted, how it’s being used, the kinds of innovations that are happening around technology.</div><div> </div><div>Just to give you one clear example: black and Latino youth are quite robust in terms of their engagement with social and mobile media. So there’s all kinds of empirical evidence and data that’s been coming out of the last four to five years that suggest black and Latino youth are much more actively involved than their white counterparts on social network sites; they’re much more robust in terms of how they’re engaged with mobile media; they’re doing a wider range of things with their mobile phones; there’s a lot of recent data that suggests they’re just as active, if not more active, on Twitter.</div><div> </div><div> </div><div>So it seems to me that, as everyday realities have changed around who is adopting technology, the context in which they’re adopting technology, and the ways in which technology matters in their lives, it’s really necessitated a different set of questions that we should be asking as it relates to the issue of technology and social inequality. It’s not so much that the issue of inequality and the kinds of issues of diversity that the digital divide narrative generated have necessarily been erased – but I do think that how we think about these issues needs to seriously be modified in relation to the kinds of cultural realities that are happening in the world today. We spend a lot of time trying to explore that area. I’m working with another team of researchers who have been funded by the MacArthur Foundation to look at young people, to look at how they’re creating these new kinds of informal learning ecologies, new modes of learning through technology. One of the key variables/sets of factors that we’ll be looking at [is] race, ethnicity, geography, class – how those things impact how different types of kids engage with technology in different ways.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div><div><strong>You mentioned that the way technology is adopted and used today is creating a different set of questions that people should be asking. Can you elaborate on that?</strong></div><div> </div><div><div>The questions ten years ago primarily pivoted around the issue of access: for example, how do we create more access to technology for low-income kids? How do we build spaces where kids can get access to computers, or where they can get access to the Internet? Those questions, though they aren’t completely erased from the conversation, they’re not nearly as significant as they were ten years ago. The questions today are more likely to be about the quality of engagement with technology – in other words, how do we create ecologies, spaces, and environments that encourage kids to expand how they think about the technology that they own?</div><div> </div><div>I mentioned, for example, that black and Latino youth are much more robust in terms of the range of activities that they participate in with mobile media. However, we are at a point now where we are beginning to think about mobile and social media as tools of empowerment and civic engagement, and as resources that kids can use to engage their communities, their lives, and the world around them. How do we begin to foster environments, create conversations, and create spaces that really encourage kids to see these tools – the tools that they have access to, the tools that they use, and in many cases the tools that they now own – in that way? So, the questions are not necessarily about access but about quality of engagement and participation, about how technology is actually being used, and what technology can possibly mean in people’s everyday lives.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div></div><div><strong>Can you describe the use of code-switching between different types of social networks – for example, switching between Myspace and Facebook? Do you see it happening in both kids of lower and higher socio-economic status? Why is it important? </strong></div><div> </div><div><div>[Currently], even among black and Latino youth, Facebook is clearly the preferred social network to use… Where I’ve talked about code-switching – and I’ve borrowed this from linguists and from urban sociologists of decades ago, who really try to grapple with the issue of social mobility and how, in particular, populations or individuals on the social and economic margins develop different modes of communication, different modes of personal expression, different mannerisms, different styles of expression – [I’ve looked at] how that can oftentimes stand in the way of their social mobility. It limits their opportunities for meaningful employment. It makes them less of a viable option for certain kinds of opportunities because of what researchers call “soft skills.” Soft skills are not necessarily those things that can be quantified, but those things that can be observed, in terms of mannerisms, self-presentation. Historically, researchers have argued – for example, for young African American men – that among the reasons that they find getting access to meaningful forms of employment difficult has to do with this belief amongst managers and employees that they don’t have those soft skills, in terms of how they express themselves via language, dress, their mannerisms.</div><div> </div><div>What I’ve argued is that if you look at the ways, for example, in which teenagers in general, but particularly black and Latino teens, and black and Latino males specifically, create, construct, and perform their identities via social network sites – first primarily Myspace but now increasingly via Facebook and Twitter – these issues really continue to come into play in some ways that are quite new and distinct today.</div><div> </div><div>This is all connected to this growing recognition that how we behave in the social media world has consequences for our lives outside of that space. We know that teachers, admissions offices, and employees now look at, evaluate, and make judgments about people based on the things that they say and do in their social network profiles. So, part of what I’ve talked about is helping to educate young and Latino youth about the consequences of participation in social media; specifically, the consequences of the kinds of pictures that they post, conversations that they participate in, and things that they use to represent themselves, their identities, and the things that they value. It’s a challenging issue, but it’s one that increasingly needs to be addressed effectively in many ways.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div><strong>To be continued...</strong></div><div> </div><div><div>What will social networks look like in the future? For youth specifically?</div><div> </div><div>Next time we will publish Part III of our interview with Professor Watkins, focusing on his thoughts on future social media trends.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div></div><div><strong>Additional resources on Professor Watkins’ work, digital media, and learning:</strong><br /><ul><li><a href="http://www.theyoungandthedigital.com/">The Young and the Digital</a></li><li><a href="http://vimeo.com/14777251">DML Conference 2011: Designing Learning Futures (S. Craig Watkins)</a></li><li><a href="http://www.dmlcentral.net/conference2011">Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011 Website</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4216937849499013315?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/participation-gap" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Participation Gap</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Wed, 02 Mar 2011 23:32:00 +0000Sarah Davis130 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-ii#commentsThe Young and the Digital: Interview with S. Craig Watkins, Part Ihttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-i <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ApYSHPS_UD8/TWhGvWP3buI/AAAAAAAABdI/Gqd30Oj4CDM/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ApYSHPS_UD8/TWhGvWP3buI/AAAAAAAABdI/Gqd30Oj4CDM/s1600/digital%2Byouth.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5577785917738282722" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Recently, we interviewed Professor S. Craig Watkins of the University of Texas at Austin on subjects including social media in different contexts, the participation gap, the quality and consequences of young people’s media engagement, and the future of social media. Here, in Part I of the interview, he discusses his current research.</em></p><div><br /><div><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--WEEW3ZasIo/TWhGbgcc9TI/AAAAAAAABdA/_8VqYePD0Ic/s320/WatkinsPic.JPG" alt="" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 214px; height: 320px;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5577785576878044466" border="0" /><div>S. Craig Watkins teaches in the departments of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Professor Watkins is launching a new digital media research initiative that focuses on the use and evolution of social media platforms, and he will also be participating in a MacArthur Foundation research network studying diverse communities of young people and their engagement with digital media. For</div><div>updates on these and other projects, visit <a href="http://theyoungandthedigital.com">http://theyoungandthedigital.com</a>.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div></div><strong>Professor Watkins, please tell us about your current research.</strong><br /><br />In general, my research focuses on the relationship between young people and technology, in particular their engagement with social, digital, and mobile media platforms. I’ve spent a great deal of time looking at young people’s engagement with technology, primarily in informal learning environments and ecologies. For example, we are asking what kids are doing with mobile and social media outside of formal learning environments, particularly the classroom, and how they have created very vibrant expressions of culture, identity, and community.<br />We’re still looking at those kinds of things, but we’re also beginning to think about the ways in which schools are beginning to now integrate social, mobile, and digital media platforms into the classroom, and we’re beginning to think about how technology can be used to engage students more effectively; at how technology can be used to create a much more dynamic relationship between teachers and students, students and their peers. So we’re really beginning to think about how what has been happening for years now outside formal learning environments like schools – particularly kids’ dynamic engagement with technology – [is] beginning to influence and impact the kinds of things that educators are doing inside the classroom.<br />We just finished a big Facebook study. That study basically was a national survey of young adults, looking at the evolution of their social media behaviors – thinking about how, as they transition from one stage in the youth life cycle to another stage, their engagement with social media evolves. In particular, we focused a lot of the survey questions around Facebook.</div><div> </div><div><strong>What were some of the results you found interesting from the Facebook study? </strong></div><div> </div><div>We did the Facebook study for a couple of reasons primarily. We knew, based on some of the earlier research we had conducted, that engagement with social media is a constant process of evolution. In other words, I think there is a tendency to think that how a teenager uses social media is a predictor of how they will use social media as they get older. We saw early on in our research evidence that ran counter to that. In fact, as people move through their life cycles, as they transition from one stage of life to the next stage, how they use social media, why they use social media, what social media means to them – it evolves, it changes. And so we wanted to conduct a survey that began to empirically identify and document some of those changes.<div> </div><div>Real quickly, the survey is split into two large groups in terms of the sample: of the total participants (about 905), about one half of the survey is made of current college students, the other half is made up of recent college graduates (people who have been out of college since 2005). We knew that, in all likelihood, just that window alone – the context of the transition from being in college to being out of college – would reveal some really interesting and sharp distinctions in terms of how people use social media and what they like to share on their social media profiles. In fact, a lot of that data bears this out; that as people transition from college into the paid workforce, as they’re pursuing their careers and beginning to think about establishing their families, the things that they share via Facebook begin to change. They become more protective about privacy and personal data that they reveal.</div><div> </div><div>We didn’t know this necessarily going into the survey, but there are some pretty interesting clear examples and evidence in our data about the distinctions between how men and women use Facebook. For example, women, compared to men, are much less likely to reveal personal kinds of data or personal kinds of interests, such as their religious or political views. The pictures that men post versus the pictures that women post tend to vary.</div><div> </div><div>So, what we tried to do with the survey is really begin to start looking at some concrete distinctions in terms of social media behavior, trying to think about a broader cultural context for social media behavior and how social media behavior intersects with gender, class, education. Again, we looked at the transition from one stage of life to the next, because there is a tendency to over-generalize young people’s engagement with social media. There’s a tendency to articulate a very generic or stereotypical narrative about young people’s engagement with technology without really understanding the nuances, distinctions, and differences that define and shape how they use social media.</div><div> </div></div><div><strong>To be continued...</strong></div><div><div>How does the digital divide impact social networks? How do individuals of differing backgrounds and socio-economic status experience digital media?</div><div> </div><div>Part II of our interview with Professor Watkins will focus on his thoughts on the participation gap and how individuals of differing backgrounds experience digital media.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Watkins' work, digital media, and learning:</strong></div><div><div><ul><li><a href="http://www.theyoungandthedigital.com/">The Young and the Digital</a></li><li><a href="http://vimeo.com/14777251">DML Conference 2011: Designing Learning Futures</a> (S. Craig Watkins)</li><li><a href="http://www.dmlcentral.net/conference2011">Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011 Website</a></li></ul></div></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1183113980558974643?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/participation-gap" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Participation Gap</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Sat, 26 Feb 2011 00:09:00 +0000Sarah Davis131 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/young-and-digital-interview-s-craig-watkins-part-i#commentsPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-iii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x2dc0V90W9I/TV7HuQqq_8I/AAAAAAAABc4/Mq8HJ6rvDDI/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x2dc0V90W9I/TV7HuQqq_8I/AAAAAAAABc4/Mq8HJ6rvDDI/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5575112986293108674" border="0" /></a></p><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A few weeks ago, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview.html">we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne</a> about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part III, he discusses the importance of equitable distribution of digital media learning opportunities and the future of civic engagement.</em></div><div> </div><p><strong>Professor Kahne, discuss the importance of equitable distribution of digital media learning opportunities. </strong></p><div> </div><div>Since more and more civic and political life is carried out online, it is especially important to pay attention to the degree to which the digital media opportunities are equitably or inequitably distributed. There are a couple different dimensions of this that I think are worth attending to. Often we focus on the digital divide, which is generally understood to be assessments of the degree to which access to digital media is equitably distributed. Some people have broadband at home and other people don’t. Some people have computers and other people don’t. We have found that there is some inequity in access that is highly related to socioeconomic status; the more money people have, the more likely they are to have computers – the more likely they are to have broadband access, etc.; but one thing we’re finding that’s interesting is that, when it comes to some forms of access, (for example, smart phones), we may not see as much inequality as we might expect in relation to other dimensions. That’s the access question.</div><div> </div><div>It is also important to attend to the “participation gap.” Some people enter into participatory cultures and online communities while other people don’t? There is some evidence that the online participation gap may be smaller than it is in some other spheres of life. In our study – and we drew on data that Cathy Cohen collected, using a nationally representative dataset – we found that students of color and low-income students were just as likely to participate in participatory cultures and online communities as kids of higher socioeconomic status and as white kids. When it comes to explicit political participation, there’s some inequality, but it is perhaps less than inequality in offline political participation. At least, that’s what the indications are from a new study by Kay Schlozman and colleagues that was done by the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project.</div><div> </div><div>There’s also a third form of potential inequality related to the distribution of digital media learning opportunities. The things that we were just talking about are more about what young people have in their home or in their out-of-school life. But it’s also fundamentally important to see to what extent there is equitable distribution within school in terms of digital media learning opportunities. We know that civic learning opportunities are inequitably distributed. We did a study that found that young people were far more likely to get opportunities to debate with one another or to do service learning, or to engage in simulations, if they were white, if they were of higher socioeconomic status, or if they were higher achieving (in tracked classes with higher-achieving kids). We don’t know, whether digital media learning opportunities in school are equitably distributed. That’s something we really need to study.</div><div> </div><div><strong>How do you envision civic engagement in the future? Political participation? For instance, if online networks become the norm for civic and political engagement, how could this online participation differ from geographic participation? </strong></div><div> </div><div>There’s no doubt that there’s already been a massive move, especially by young people, to engage civically and politically in ways that utilize and draw on digital media. I think we would expect that to continue, and more and more people will be getting their information in those ways, participating in discussions through digital media, etc. It seems likely that geography will still be very important but, it does seem important to imagine that we may need to broaden and redefine what it means to be local – that it’s possible for there to be online forms or visions of localism. This is something that my colleague Ellen Middaugh and I wrote about recently. We discussed ways in which people can be part of online communities that share the features of being in a local community in some important ways, even though they’re not geographic locales.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Special thanks</strong></div><div><div> </div><div>We’d like to extend a special thanks to Professor Joseph Kahne for taking the time to talk with us.</div></div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne's Work:</strong></div><div><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College</a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8056460499075778032?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 18 Feb 2011 19:17:00 +0000Sarah Davis132 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-iii#commentsPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part IIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-ii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TVQ6_1kQjZI/AAAAAAAABcw/K502WzN50xk/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TVQ6_1kQjZI/AAAAAAAABcw/K502WzN50xk/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5572143507349474706" border="0" /></a></p><p> </p><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A couple of weeks ago, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview.html">we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne</a> about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part II, he discusses how educators can teach civics through digital media use.</em></div><div> </div><div><strong>Professor Kahne, how can educators teach civics through the use of digital media? Does the content matter, or is it more about how students interact with each other? Discuss how friendship-driven participation compares with interest-driven participation.</strong></div><div> </div><div>There are a variety of ways that digital media can support civic and political development. First, clearly, more and more people are doing core acts of civic and political life online. They’re expressing their opinions online, they’re getting their information online, they’re entering into discussions with others online, they’re being mobilized and mobilizing other people online; they might create a website tied to the issues they care about. Fundraising goes on online. There’s a huge number of ways digital media is embedded in civic and political life. One thing that educators can do is to help young people develop the skills needed to participate in those contexts. How do you tell whether the information you’re getting is credible? What are productive ways to get into a dialogue online that doesn’t lead to flaming and disrespectful interaction? Media literacy skills are very important.</div><div> </div><div>And, we found in our studies that when teachers give young people opportunities to develop those skills – when, for example, they require that young people go online to get multiple points of view on an issue, or to create a website that communicates a perspective, or to discuss how to judge the trustworthiness of sources of information – those experiences lead young people to be more likely to do those things in their discretionary time. So we have some evidence that teaching those digital media literacy skills, and especially those skills that relate to civic life, is productive in terms of promoting more engagement.</div><div> </div><div>Another thing found is that interest-based engagement with digital media can be quite valuable. When young people enter into online communities, or are a part of what Henry Jenkins calls a “participatory culture,” they frequently get a set of experiences that it appears (from our studies) promote or build a bridge to broader civic and political engagement. They learn skills of how to be part of community, which is key, and an appreciation of those norms; they get a sense of the possibility and value of collective efforts; they probably get exposed, unintentionally, to information about opportunities to get involved, and about issues they might care about.</div><div> </div><div>What are the implications for educators? Many interest-based communities can be things that young people can engage with in out-of-school/afterschool programs. So it’s important for us not just to think of this as something schools deliver. In addition, many of the features of those communities, those participatory cultures, can be connected to academic content. If, for example, educators could use social media to create ways for peers to comment on one another’s work, or on each other’s perspectives on various issues, that can create a context that is more authentic and more compelling for young people; and through which they can learn a great deal about the issues they’re engaging.</div><div> </div><div>Games that focus on civic and political life can also be helpful. Games can provide simulations where young people get a sense of what it is to be a leader of a community, to be a mayor or to be part of an organization; they can simulate courtrooms, legislative bodies…they can do all sorts of different things.</div><div> </div><div>These interest-driven participatory communities differ somewhat from friendship-driven participation. We found that when young people are engaged with their interests, like in hobbies or fan culture, we see increases in those individuals’ participation. We have a longitudinal study that we did where we followed over 400 kids over time, where we could see that if you were involved in those interest-driven communities, they became more likely to participate. But we did not find that friendship-driven participation had any effect, either positive or negative. So, for example, if youth email their friends or socialize on Facebook or through social media, we didn’t see that had an impact one way or the other.</div><div> </div><div><strong>To be continued...</strong></div><div> </div><div>What is the extent to which digital media opportunities are inequitable and how might inequities be addressed? In the future, how could online participation differ from geographic participation?</div><div> </div><div>Next week we will publish Part III of our interview with Professor Kahne, focusing on his thoughts on the equity of digital media opportunities and the future of types of civic and political participation.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne’s work:</strong></div><div><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College</a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7348480196522404286?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Thu, 10 Feb 2011 19:19:00 +0000Sarah Davis136 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-ii#commentsPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part I.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-i <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TUxo-DTpdhI/AAAAAAAABco/ncYg7kIhVgk/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TUxo-DTpdhI/AAAAAAAABco/ncYg7kIhVgk/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5569942254399354386" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Last week, we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part I, he discusses his current research.</span><br /><br />Joseph Kahne is Chair of the Youth &amp; Participatory Politics Research Network (YPP) and is the John and Martha Davidson Professor of Education at Mills College, where he was previously Dean of the School of Education. His research focuses on ways that school practices and new media influence the civic and political development of youth. He also studies urban school reform. Together with Ellen Middaugh and Chris Evans at Mills and Amanda Lenhart, Alexandra Rankin Macgill, and Jessica Vitak at the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project, Professor Kahne recently completed the first nationally representative survey of youth that examined the civic potential of video games. He also recently completed a longitudinal study with Sue Sporte of how opportunities in schools, homes, and communities influenced the civic outcomes of 4,000 students in Chicago’s public schools.<br /><br />Currently, he is writing up findings from a panel study of the impact of new media participation and civic education on students from 19 districts across California. His work has been published in leading education journals including the American Educational Research Journal, Phi Delta Kappan, and the Harvard Educational Review. Professor Kahne sits on the steering committee of the National Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). With Cathy Cohen, he is Co-Principal Investigator on YPP's quantitative research component – Mapping Youth Participatory Politics.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Professor Kahne, can you tell us about your current research?</span><br /><br />We know that new media are increasingly central to many aspects of political participation. New media are used to get information, to discuss issues with others, to share one's perspective (with individuals, with elected officials, with groups), to recruit others for activities, and to raise funds.<br /><br />The impact of participation is uncertain. For example, new media may expand access to both information and misinformation. In addition, individuals will have access to an unprecedented array of views – but individuals can choose to only seek out those who share their perspectives. There will be many more ways to participate, but this may also widen the gap between those who do participate and those who do not.<br /><br />I'm particularly interested in studying how youth participation with new media will impact the quality, quantity, and equality of participation and in ways to intervene (through education, mentoring, software design, etc.) to better tap the potential of new media while minimizing the risks.<br /><br /><strong>How do you define and discuss political engagement and civic participation? What are the variables you use to measure them, and why do you choose these variables? </strong><br /><br />In our work, we tend to look at a range of different variables because all people, and young people in particular, participate in a wide variety of ways – both traditional and nontraditional.<br />We look at traditional political participation – such as voting, working on campaigns, fundraising, mobilizing and issue-oriented participation. We also look at traditional civic participation: volunteering, giving money for charities, raising money for charities, working with others on community problem-solving, or being on a PTA or a board for a group.<br /><br />Then we also look (and this is increasingly important with the digital media) at expressions of public voice and efforts to influence the opinions of others. That can take the form of protests or petitions, but it can also show up in newer forms such as blogs or in poetry slams or remixes. There are a lot of ways to have public voice, depending on the context, that can be understood as civic and political forms of life.<br /><br />Another relatively newer and growing form of civic and political participation is what we might call “expressions of consumer or lifestyle politics.” For young people especially, there’s a somewhat diminished focus on the state as the primary institution one needs to change. In other words, often there is a focus on trying to elicit change through consumer preferences or either buy-cotting or boycotting; people sometimes understand their lifestyle – what clothes they wear or what foods they eat – to be a political statement. Those are important.<br /><br />There are also cognitive forms of engagement – for example, having conversations with people about civic or political life and analysis of issues that you do through interactions with family and friends.<br /><br /><strong>To be continued...</strong><br /><br />How can educators teach civics through the use of digital media? Does the content matter, or is it more about how students interact with each other?<br /><br />Next week we will publish Part II of our interview with Professor Kahne, focusing on his thoughts about teaching civics through digital media.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne’s work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College </a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4914992698053851495?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:37:00 +0000Sarah Davis137 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-i#commentsParticipatory Culture and Civic Engagement: Interview with Henry Jenkins, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-iii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15732305?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=e0b928" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is the first in a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A few weeks ago, </span><a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/participatory-culture-and-civic.html" style="font-style: italic;">we interviewed USC professor Henry Jenkins </a><span style="font-style: italic;">about his research, trends, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. Because Professor Jenkins answered our questions so generously and thoughtfully, we separated the interview into three parts. In Part III, he answers questions about the future of civic engagement.</span><br /><br /><strong>Professor Jenkins, how do you see trends of civic engagement changing in the future for young people?</strong><br /><br />To be clear, my concept of participatory culture is a relative one. It describes some aspects of the lives of some portion of American young people. We do not live in a fully realized participatory culture; we live in a culture which is more participatory now than it was ten years ago. We still have many battles to fight in order to make it possible for a broader and more diverse array of young people to meaningfully participate in the emerging media landscape, and we have even bigger battles to fight before more young people can move from the kinds of cultural participation and social engagements offered online to a richer, more robust political participation and civic engagement.<br /><br />Talking about participatory culture helps us to identify what we are fighting for, and what we are finding in studying these new kinds of political organizations will help us to identify new forms of political participation which might open up the public sphere to more potential participants. Part of what we are struggling against is the participation gap – the unequal distribution of the skills and knowledge, the sense of empowerment, which motivates civic participation. What we are observing suggests that these alternative tactics may help young people who may not have seen themselves as political before find their voice as political agents.<br /><br /><strong>If it were up to you, what would the “perfect” school look like? How would the school use digital and social media to meet the needs of its students?</strong><br /><br />To me, the perfect school would, like the ideal online community, offer many potential ways of contributing and participating. It would value the full range of young people’s knowledge, intellectual capacities, and creative abilities. It would bridge between what takes place in the classroom and the world beyond the classroom in ways which allow for a more integrated learning ecology and which will enable people to develop a sense that they can make a difference in the world.<br /><br />Digital and social media are simply one set of tools which can be used to achieve these goals. They are not magically agents that transform bad schools into good. If new media is deployed without understanding and inspiration, then it can simply replicate the most deadening practices of traditional education. If you take a test on a computer, it is still a test. If you make a podcast rather than a book report, it may still be a book report by another name. On the other hand, if we embrace collaboration and appropriation in compelling ways, then it may not matter if they are being conducted using an online forum, a virtual world, or simply a group of kids talking face to face. If we encourage kids to think about themselves and the world through remixing existing media content, then it may not matter if they are doing so with a joystick or a pencil. If we encourage them to read closely and creatively, it may not matter whether they have a mouse or a book in their hands, and my ideal would be to raise a generation that is equally comfortable with books and iPads as long as they are learning to ask critical questions as they read.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">In the future, how do we see ourselves influencing young people to be more civically engaged in the classroom? </span><br /><br />We are still trying to identify best practices from the new kinds of activist groups we are studying which might be usefully deployed in changing how young people think about the political process. But, there are things we know about civic education through many years of established research.<br /><br />First, civic education should not be marginalized in schools, since it is one of the major factors which can change how young people understand themselves as political agents.<br /><br />Second, civic education works best when young people are free to engage in debates and discussions about real world political issues rather than dealing with the operations of the government in the abstract. Right now, schools are terrified of anything which may be controversial and as a result, they often run away from the kinds of open political debates which were part of the civic educations of previous generations. The effective use of digital tools allows us to bring authentic materials into the classroom, including providing access to real world political players as potential guest speakers in our classes.<br /><br />Third, civic classes may matter little if the school models a repressive political system rather than respecting the political rights of students and teachers, encouraging them to voice their concern, and granting them some material impact on the policies that impact them. And again, the research suggests that many schools do none of these things, encouraging students to think about civics as a set of ideals which are not honored in practice at even the most local level. Censoring the school newspaper, blocking YouTube, refusing to respect the student government give young people the wrong message about their place within a more democratic society. The online world often allows young people a much greater sense of empowerment (both as a fantasy and as a reality) as they often can produce and share media openly with others, as they can exert power over the management of virtual worlds, as they can form alliances with other young people through social networking sites, and as they can take politically meaningful actions which may be closed to them in their face-to-face school environment.<br /><br />So, to return to <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/participatory-culture-and-civic_28.html">your initial point</a>, clicking a "like" button on Facebook may not be the most meaningful political act ever imagined, but it is often much more meaningful than anything young people are allowed to do in schools as they are currently constituted.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"> Special thanks</span><br /><br />We’d like to extend a special thanks to Professor Henry Jenkins for providing such thoughtful comments.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Jenkins’ work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.henryjenkins.org/">Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins</a></li><li><a href="http://sites.google.com/site/participatorydemocracyproject/">From Participatory Culture to Public Participation</a></li><li><a href="http://civicpaths.net/groupblog/">Civics, Popular Media and Participatory Culture Group Blog</a></li><li><a href="http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/">Project New Media Literacies</a></li><li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFCLKa0XRlw">Henry Jenkins’ Presentation at TedxTalks (March 6, 2010)</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7417797285807533624?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:20:00 +0000Sarah Davis143 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-iii#comments