S. Craig Watkins - The Digital Edge

A greater diversity of young people in the U.S. are using digital media than ever before. So, why do issues related to technology, diversity, and equity continue to matter?

About The Speaker(s)

Craig studies young people's social and digital media behaviors. He teaches at the University of Texas, Austin, in the departments of Radio-Television-Film, Sociology, and the Center for African and African American Studies. Craig is also a Faculty Fellow for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.

In addition to serving as the Principal Investigator of the Connected Learning Research Network project "The Digital Edge," he is working to design and pilot new learning initiatives in both out-of-school and in-school settings.

For updates on his research visit his website, theyoungandthedigital.com.

Resources

How to Participate

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Mentioned

Questions Asked

Craig's Hangout connection temporarily dropped from 10:10 to 20:30

  • (10:01) The question that we oftentimes hear is "Is mobile bridging the digital divide?"
  • (22:39) How do we begin to map the shifting media epilogue of young people in more complex ways?
  • (23:35) What are the opportunities for more enriching forms of engagement with the digital, mobile, and social media platforms that young people now have access to?
  • (25:45) How do young people move across the different nodes within their networks to create richer, more dynamic, more interconnected forms of learning and learning practices and identities?
  • (28:04) When we think about the future, not only of learning but of young learners, how do we begin to make sense of these demographic shifts in terms of [...] what students need, the kinds of the cultural sensibilities that they bring to learning spaces, the kinds of skills they'll need to transform and make their communities better places to live?
  • (33:31) Thinking again about these shifting media ecologies, and the fact that not all media ecologies are equal, how do we begin to create opportunities and experiences for young people to navigate that in more interesting kinds of ways?
  • (35:29) How do we build alternative pathways, alternative opportunities for success and enrichment outside of the more traditional pathways [of college readiness and postsecondary education]?
  • (37:18) When you talk about media ecologies as not being equal, how are you defining "equal"?
  • (40:04) As a practitioner, as an educator working with young people to increase their use of critical design literacies within our programs, to make that be part of our practice, do you have any advice for someone like myself who doesn't know how to do that? About how we could develop those skills ourselves so we can bring them into our programs? And are there other resources or communities we can connect with to learn more about how to do that?
  • (49:43) Are you seeing kids who are interested in having those conversations [about their black and Latino identities], for example, in Texas City High? Or are kids feeling as post-racial as some of the researchers are implying?
  • (51:45) When we talk about "empowerment," are we talking about "you'll be able to get a job if you have these digital skills"? "Will you get into a great college because you have these digital skills?" Or are we talking about empowerment in terms of self-expression, group identity?
  • (54:04) One Livestream participant was wondering about access for the adults in the schools. How can we support teachers who want to build these kinds of programs but maybe aren't connected to the kind of funding that we're seeing in the Digital Media and Learning Initiative?

List of Hangout Participants