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.
News & Events
iSchool Assistant Professor Katie Davis wants to know if Minecraft really does have the education value that some claim. She says there's a lot of talk about how the game can help kids learn specific skills, like coding, physics, math, creativity and collaboration, but very little data to back it up. Read more.
The iSchool's Jason Yip is studying how mobile social media, large interactive tangible displays, and streaming media can support how families and children in neighborhoods engage in science together. Read more.
"By asking questions about who uses technology, and who makes and designs technology, we as people and communities can contribute to creating more equitable social conditions,” iSchool Assistant Professer Negin Dahya says. Read more.
Beverly Cleary Professorship
Renowned author and librarian Beverly Cleary graduated from the iSchool in 1939 and the Beverly Cleary Professorship in Children and Youth Services at the University of Washington Information School was endowed to honor her work and commitment to youth librarianship. (The iSchool is currently seeking candidates for this professorship.) In 2008, Cleary was selected to receive the University of Washington Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award, the highest honor the University of Washington can bestow on a graduate. Learn more about Beverly Cleary.
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.
A research project, awarded through a competition organized by HASTAC and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with support from the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, investigating the general effectiveness of digital badges and badging systems to motivate, recognize, and assess learning in K-12 education. Katie Davis and Ph.D. student Sean Fullerton are examining how students and educators engage with and experience badges, looking in particular at motivation levels, learning pathways, the availability of novice to expert trajectories, and any implementation challenges faced. They are also exploring how badging systems fit into the broader public school framework, with specific attention given to how the Common Core standards are integrated and assessed.