How can online tools be used in youth development programming? How can hands-on experiential learning be done online? Our Center is developing online learning spaces and tools for youth and adults that contribute to and draw from the latest research.
Comments on this page? Curator: Ann Nordby, online communications & learning
Youth Development Insight blog
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
- 3/17 Ann Nordby
- 10/15 Carrie Ann Olson
Anyone who has been around teenagers in the last five years knows that they are constantly online. 91% of them use smart phones daily. These devices are like extensions of their bodies. How should youth workers respond? Your impulse might be to ask youth to put their devices away to avoid distraction but what if you harnessed them as learning tools?.
Bombarded by advertisements of what to buy, media messages of how to look and peer pressure of what to do, responsible decision making can be tough stuff. Every day, youth are tasked with promoting their own health, avoiding risky behaviors and dealing honestly and fairly with others. That’s decision making – a social and emotional skill.
Decision making can be defined as the process of making choices among possible alternatives.
Reports & journal articles
Cohort-based online courses often include a discussion board. Participants can interact in a discussion board by sharing what they have learned, expressing how they will apply the information, reacting to other participants’ posts, and asking questions. This white paper offers tips for using discussion boards to enhance online learning. 2015.
Twitter, a free social media tool, can be used to help run a large Extension event. In Minnesota, beef and dairy show committees and 4-H participants are using real-time tweets delivered to participants' cell phones to keep state fair livestock shows running smoothly. 2014.
This white paper contains strategies learned by the authors, academically and through experience, about what it takes to intentionally create an engaging online experience with adults in non-credit settings. (PDF) 2011.
What we're reading
From journals and the popular media. Selected by
- Interest and Self-Sustained Learning as Catalysts of Development: A Learning Ecology Perspective | Barron | Human Development
- Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design | Ito, Gutierrez, Livingstone, et al | Digital Media Lab Research Hub
- The serious side of gaming : UMNews : University of Minnesota
- Development and Evaluation of an On-Line Educational Module for Volunteer Leaders on Bio-Security in Washington State 4-H Livestock Projects | Journal of Extension
Our past presentations
Digital Youth Network: Developing 21st century learners through the integration of overlapping affinity spaces
Through a mix of during school, afterschool, and online spaces, the Digital Youth Network provides youth opportunities to develop and apply new media literacy in ways that are personally and academically meaningful to them. 2011. Read more.
Youth have always been peer-oriented. Has online social networking changed anything for them? Greenhow presents emerging research on youth experiences in popular online social network sites and considers their implications for the field of youth development. 2009. Read more.
New technologies and media are playing an important role in the lives of young people and offering new ways for them to learn, engage, and contribute to their communities. This webinar explores the meaning of media literacy, highlights positive ways youth can and are using new technologies, and discusses the challenges and opportunities in doing so. Guests include Leo Burd, a researcher with MIT's Center for Future Civic Media and Karen Brennan also of MIT. The discussion is moderated by Dale A. Blyth from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. 2011. Read more.