To address low rates of graduation from urban high schools, this study focuses on how digital technologies and social relationships in school and non-school settings influence youth engagement in learning. The researchers aim to understand what makes these settings work well, and to offer lessons to improve practices in similar settings. Of particular interest is how youth create digital media as a way of connecting to their identities and to their communities. The team will study nine school and non-school-based learning sites within the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area, where predominantly low-income, minority teenagers actively use technology and create digital products. The mixed-methods design will include qualitative and quantitative measures of youth engagement and learning, interviews with instructors and students, and detailed observation of each setting.
How do urban schools, libraries, and community-based organizations use digital technologies to help young people become engaged learners?