GK and NYPL jointly published on recent Edge Project collaboration


Global Kids and the New York Public Library just published an excerpt from our upcoming Worked Example on the Edge Project completed last spring: Digital Expression.

The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education. Check out our pieces there on:

How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From “Hanging Out” to “Messing Around”

Or click Download file">here to download it. (If you would like to read the completed Worked Example, still in development, please contact us and let us know.)

Below is the abstract we wrote for the entire Worked Example:

This worked example, entitled “How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From ‘Hanging Out’ to ‘Messing Around,’” developed in collaboration with the New York Public Library, is the second produced by Global Kids’ Edge Project.

The Edge Project is a new Global Kids initiative, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, with the goal of expanding the capacity of civic and cultural institutions to use new media as innovative educational platforms that engage youth in learning and promote youth civic participation. It is equally interested in where this type of programming - due to technology, its pedagogical implications or both - is a disruptive force challenging the educators and/or the institutional cultural to work on the edge of their comfort level. There is a balancing act they must undertake, being receptive to how new media challenges their current educational culture and practice while, in turn, challenging the educational potential of new media through interacting with that very culture and practice. At the end of the day, we want to better understand the following questions: how do institutions find their balance working on this edge and do different types of institutions respond in different ways?

This worked example focuses on the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) implementation of Global Kids’ Digital Expressions program (DEx). DEx supports youth educators to work with young people to foster their acquisition of digital media production and analytic skills through youth engagement in participatory media or "Web 2.0" tools. Participants use web tools to engage in activities that map, remix, and blog original and online content to make their voice heard on important social issues while gaining critical social skills and cultural competencies that will be critical to their participation in civic life in the 21st century. The program was inspired by work produced through Henry Jenkin's New Media Literacies and is designed to not only develop youth’s skills but also support their ability to understand and articulate what they have learned.

This worked example details how design decisions forced the NYPL to negotiate an edge point that emerged when expectations for youth were increased, both around time spent in the program and regarding the seriousness of the issues addressed. It also details a second edge point that emerged when youth activity ran into anticipated security infrastructure constraints. Both edge points are framed within a broader discussion of Mimi Ito, et al.’s framework presented within their book “Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media.” More specifically, the worked example explores how designing a program to move the NYPL’s education uses of digital media to a different mode of engagement forced them to work on the edge.