Digital Generation Youth Portraits
Today’s kids are born digital — born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it’s about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment. Edutopia‘s in-depth coverage of students from around the country reveals how young people are using new media to learn, communicate, and socialize in new and exciting ways. The Digital Generation Project is produced with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Content for this project is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License.
You’ll meet unique kids who will show you how they’ve mastered digital tools. They’ll show you how they create, collaborate, and teach in ways that kids before them could scarcely imagine. As you watch and listen, you’ll learn, too. If you’re an educator, you’ll understand how digital tools are changing the classroom. You’ll find practical ideas on how to leverage the unique skills of this generation. If you’re a parent, you’ll access ideas and resources about how to support, protect, and better guide our children as we all continue to explore the digital age.
Digital Generation Youth Portraits:
Age 11 | Indiana
“I make a lot of movies with special effects — some things you really couldn’t do in real life.”
Age 18 | New York
“I’ve learned so much through Global Kids, and not just about filming and editing, but also about the world and people around me.”
“I really enjoy technology, because it’s a better way to find out information and use that information for my community, not just for myself.”
“My method of learning new software is really trial and error. If something doesn’t work out, just go back and try something else.”
“When I grow up, I want to be a cartoonist, and a video game maker, and an artist. Technically, they all come together.”
“I’m teaching young elementary kids how to stay safe online.”
“I’m not sure I would know my alphabet if I didn’t have technology.”
“There are people in need in Haiti, and we’re trying to design a new Web site for them.”
“What I’m learning out of school I learn at a much faster pace and more effectively than what I usually learn in school.”
“I don’t have a computer. I don’t always have a cell phone, but technology is like my lifeline, and without it, I don’t know what I would do.”
Youths submited short reflection on how new media has changed the way they learn. Check out their submissions here: Digital Generation Student Videos on YouTube.
» Use Digital Generation Project videos and articles with teachers, parents, and kids at your school. »Explore the resources of the MacArthur Foundation’s digital-media and learning initiative. » Read the report “Living and Learning with New Media.”