FROM TEXTING TO TWITTER: DIGITAL MEDIA ACROSS GENERATIONS
Science and the Public Series, Spring 2011
PART 2: THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 7:00pm at the Lowell Center (610 Langdon St – at Frances St)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
"The Young and the Digital: Exploring the Shifting Contours of Young People's New Media Practices"
A lecture by S. Craig Watkins of the University of Texas at Austin
In this talk I consider the shifting contours of young people's new media ecologies. Over the last decade young people's engagement with digital media has rapidly evolved and, today, nearly nine of ten U.S. teens own a mobile device; over eighty percent use a social network site, and report spending, on average, over eight hours a day with media. The talk considers the social, behavioral, and educational aspects of young people'e digital media practices and identifies some of the key questions that are being addressed in a new three-year study of youth digital media practices funded by the MacArthur Foundation. In addition, the talk focuses on the racial and ethnic aspects of youth culture in the digital age. There is growing evidence that the "digital divide"--the focus on access to technology--is less of a challenge than the "participation gap"--the focus on the skills, competencies, and knowledge networks that young people develop. The talk considers what is at stake as black and Latino youth emerge as robust users of mobile devices and social media platforms like Twitter?
S. Craig Watkins Biography:
S. Craig Watkins studies young people's social and digital media behaviors. He teaches in the departments of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies.
He is the author of three books. His most recent, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty-somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates. The Young and the Digital explores young people's dynamic engagement with social media, games, mobile phones, and platforms like Facebook.
Watkins is a MacArthur Foundation grantee and is currently working with a MacArthur funded research network to study youth digital media practices, social networks, and learning ecologies.
Addressing issues that range from exploring the social impacts of young people's participation in digital media culture to the educational and health implications of digital media, Watkins has engaged a dynamic mix of communities. Among them: The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Drug Addiction, IBM Center for Social Software, South by Southwest Interactive, The National School Boards Association, Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity, The Austin Forum on Science and Technology for Society, and The MacArthur Foundation.
Currently, Watkins is launching a new digital media research initiative that focuses on the use and evolution of social media platforms. For updates on these and other projects visit http://theyoungandthedigital.com.
S. Craig Watkins has been invited to be a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford).
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