What We Do
Faculty and students in the Digital Youth Lab explore the transformative potential of new and future technologies in the lives of young people. We seek to understand the role of technology in youth development, identity, and behavior. Our work encompasses topics such as youth learning to code, producing digital art, co-designing new technologies, and connecting formal and informal learning contexts. Our diverse research areas address the role of digital media and information technologies in relation to access and equity for youth and their communities.
Digital Youth White Paper
In 2016, members of the Digital Youth Lab published a white paper synthesizing current research on youth, digital media, and learning across disciplinary boundaries. This white paper is a direct result of the Digital Youth Seattle Think Tank (DYSTT), hosted by the Information School at the University of Washington in October 2014. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the DYSTT brought together approximately 100 leaders in academia, industry, practice, and policy to discuss the current state of research related to youth and technology.
Beverly Cleary Professorship
In fall 2016, Professor Michelle Martin joined the iSchool as the Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor in Children and Youth Services. This endowed Professorship was created to honor the work of renowned author and librarian Beverly Cleary, who graduated from the iSchool in 1939.
KidsTeam UW is an intergenerational design team focused on co-designing new technologies FOR children WITH children. We use Cooperative Inquiry as a method of design partnering created to design technology with and for children. In the Cooperative Inquiry method, adults and children use a broad range of techniques to work together throughout the entire design process to create new technology.
This National Science Foundation project aims to use mobile devices and strategically placed interactive community displays to 'scientize' youth in two low-income communities. Scientizing is when people recognize the importance and relevance of science knowledge in one’s everyday life and actively engage in the pursuit of science. Through strategic partnerships with community organizations, educators, and families, our innovation supports primary and middle-school students to actively engage in scientific inquiry in the context of their neighborhoods.
The focus of this study is to explore pathways to girls’ engagement with contemporary ‘participatory culture’ through the process of creating digital video on mobile devices. Participatory culture is defined as a culture with few barriers to meaningful creative expression, civic engagement, and connected communities. Historically, girls have engaged in media making practices in sub- and counter-cultural communities to respond to the controlled patriarchal framework of ‘girlhood’ – to interrupt limited expectations about what girls, and particularly girls of color, can and should do to participate in society in meaningful ways.
This National Science Foundation Early Career Development project investigates how networked technologies can be leveraged to develop learners’ STEM identities and connect their STEM learning across informal and formal contexts. We are developing and implementing a digital badge system to recognize and reward the skills and achievements of a diverse group of high school students participating in a science-based afterschool program at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.
Project ConnectedLib teams faculty members from the library and information science (LIS) schools at the University of Washington and University of Maryland and public library partners to build public librarians’ capacity to incorporate digital media into their work with youth to promote connections across their learning contexts.