Sonia Livingstone on where and why do digital media – and digital media learning – fit into the lives of young teenagers living in complex urban societies? Do they help build valued connections, or enhance opportunities to create, learn and participate? Or do they lead to hyper-connection, surveillance and loss of privacy for young people? Reflecting on a year’s ethnography (free to read at http://connectedyouth.nyupress.org/) with a class of 13 year olds, exploring their sites of living and learning online and offline, Sonia argues that their understandable desire for ‘positive disconnections’ means crucial opportunities to learn are being missed. These might be overcome with a more child-centered or even child-rights approach to the digital age.
Where and why do digital media – and digital media learning – fit into the lives of young teenagers living in complex urban societies?