apophenia published Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from a 3-year Ethnographic Study of Digital Youth with links to a summary of the findings, a white paper, and a book—all reporting on the findings. The key findings:
- Most youth use online networks to extend the friendships that they navigate in the familiar contexts of school, religious organizations, sports, and other local activities.
- Youth engage in peer-based, self-directed learning online.
apophenia commented about her part in the study and the study itself,
For those who are only familiar with my research, I strongly encourage you to check out the report to get a better sense of the context in which I’ve been working. I focus primarily on “friendship-driven practices” but the “interest-driven practices” that motivate creative production, gaming, and all sorts of user generated content are tremendously important. I focus primarily on what happens when teens “hang out” but there’s also amazing learning moments when they mess around and geek out with one another.
You can find more information at The MacArthur Foundation, which funded the project.