Digital Youth Network: Developing 21st century learners through the integration of overlapping affinity spaces
Nichole Pinkard, Ph.D.
Oct. 28, 2011
This event was co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development and its Learning Technologies Media Lab and Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
We are living in the middle of a paradigm shift that is challenging our definition of what it means to be literate. We now have affordable and usable technologies that have seeded the possibilities for the creation of spaces—at home, in the community, and online—where individuals work alone or collaboratively with family and local and global peers around topics of collective interest.
Through a mix of during school, afterschool, and online spaces, the Digital Youth Network (DYN) provides youth opportunities to develop and apply new media literacy in ways that are personally and academically meaningful to them. Guided by more experienced peers and professional adult artists/mentors trained in elements of pedagogy, youth produce and share digital artifacts, demonstrate new media skills and understandings, and critique media projects within the DYN community. Interactions between the learner, his or her peers, and adult mentors result in an environment in which the possession and demonstration of one’s new media literacy increases status and social capital.