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Digital Youth Research November 21, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Education, Technology, World Wide Web.
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kidHow Those Pesky Kids Use The Interwebs

The Digital Youth Project, an American, 22 case study, $3.3 million ethnographic study of what kids are doing online, has  published its results. The project is the largest and most comprehensive study of young peoples’ internet use ever undertaken in the US.

The conclusions are sane, compassionate, and compelling: in a nutshell, the “serious” stuff we all hope kids will do online (researching papers and so on) are only possible within a framework of “hanging out, messing around and geeking out.” That is to say, all the “time-wasting” social stuff kids do online are key to their explorations and education online.

Ito and her team establish a taxonomy of social activity, dividing it first into “peer-driven” and “interest-driven” — the former being what kids do with their real-world friends, the latter being the niche interests that drive them to locate other people who are as fascinated as they are by whatever brand of esoterica they fancy.

Within these two categories, the researchers break things down further into “hanging out” (undirected, social activities), “messing around” (tinkering with media, networks and technologies) and “geeking out” (delving deep into subjects based on global communities of interest) and for each one, they describe the successful and unsuccessful techniques deployed by parents and educators to direct kids’ activities.

See the report’s website here.

Download the 2-page summary [PDF]

Download the full report [PDF]

The above copy / post has been shamelessly lifted from Boing Boing

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