Digital Media and Technology in Afterschool Programs, Libraries, and Museums
Digital media and technology have become culturally and economically powerful parts
of contemporary middle-class American childhoods. Immersed in various forms of digital media as well
as mobile and Web-based technologies, young people today appear to develop knowledge and skills
through participation in media. This MacArthur Report examines the ways in which afterschool
programs, libraries, and museums use digital media to support extracurricular learning. It
investigates how these three varieties of youth-serving organizations have incorporated
technological infrastructure and digital practices into their programs; what types of participation
and learning digital practices support; and how research in digital media and learning can
contribute to better integration of technology within and across these organizations. The authors
review a range of programs (including the long-running Computer Clubhouse movement, established in
1993 in partnership with MIT's Media Lab), and then use the idea of "media ecologies" to
investigate the role that digital media play (or could play) in these "intermediary spaces for
learning." They call for less anecdotal, more empirical and methodologically sound studies to
help us understand the affordances of digital media for learning within and across these programs;
for research focused on the relationship between digital media and the effectiveness of
youth-serving organizations; and for further study of schools within childhood media
- 2009 Christo Sims, Becky Herr Stephenson, Anne Balsamo, Dan Perkel, Maura Klosterman, Susana Smith Bautista, Diana Rhoten
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