Global Kids Releases Edge Project Report on Digital Media & Learning in Informal Learning Institutions

The Edge Project was an initiative of Global Kids, Inc., funded by the MacArthur Foundation. It aimed to expand the capacity of civic and cultural institutions to use digital media as innovative educational platforms that engage youth in learning and promote youth civic participation.

More specifically, the Edge Project was interested in civic and cultural institutions bringing cutting-edge digital media into their youth educational programs. It was equally interested in where this type of programming can be a disruptive force challenging the educators and/or the institutional cultural to work on the edge of their comfort level.

At the end of the day, we wanted to better understand the following question: How do institutions find their balance working on this edge?

Global Kids' Edge Projects explored this and other questions over two years (2009-2011) through a series of short-term educational programs developed and implemented in partnership with a variety of national civic and cultural institutions that are exemplars within their communities of practice:


  • The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (Charlotte, NC)
  • Dane County Jail (Madison, WI)
  • The Field Museum (Chicago, IL)
  • Jail North (Charlotte, NC)
  • Madison Public Library (Madison, WI)
  • MOUSE (NY, NY)
  • The Museum For African Art (NY, NY)
  • The New York Public Library (NY, NY)
  • The Noguchi Museum (NY, NY)
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, D.C.)

This report will offer the following:

  • An introduction to the key ideas behind the Edge Projects
  • A brief summary of the projects
  • An In-depth looks into three of the projects:
  • o Leveraging Digital Media to Create a Participatory Learning Culture Among Incarcerated Youth
  • o How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From “Hanging Out” to “Messing Around”
  • o Digital Media and Learning at The Noguchi Museum: Introducing 21st Century Technology into a 20th Century Space
  • An Appendix offering background information

Global Kids would like to thank all of the organizational partners who took the personal and professional risks to participate in this innovative project, challenging themselves and their colleagues in the process, and the MacArthur Foundation for having faith in our ability to network with a broad range of civic and cultural institutions towards developing their capacity for digital media and learning.


For the full report, please download it below.

Edge Projects Report-0912.pdf3.51 MB