How do youth connect and learn online and how do we design for them?

Posted on Jul 29th, 2016 by Katarina Pantic

icls poster

Photo credit: Tsering Wangyal, ICLS 2016

In June, Dr. Fields presented on behalf of herself and Dr. Grimes at the 12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) in Singapore (link to conference website). Their presentation was part of a symposium organized by Dr. Breanne Litts from Utah State University and Dr. Yasmin Kafai from the University of Pennsylvania. Entitled Connected Making: Designing for Youth Learning in Online Maker Communities In and Out of Schools, the symposium primarily addressed two questions: (1) How do youth connect and learn in online maker communities? and (2) How can we design online maker tools for learning in and out of schools? 

Dr. Fields opened the symposium with an outline of “the landscape of how youth use online tools in the wild.” During this introduction, she presented the Kids DIY Media team’s findings on youth participation in over 120 DIY websites that have been analyzed during Years 1 and 2 of the Kids DIY Media Project. She also addressed tensions around the design of “online tools for youth that not only support sharing but also other forms of social networking such as commenting and critiquing.” The presentation, within the same symposium, was followed by three showcases of “different design-based approach on how to provide essential social networking supports for making”.

The symposium was well received and it opened many dialogue and networking avenues for the team. (Link to the symposium document)