New technologies are playing an important role in the lives of young people. From mobile phones to social media sites, from video games to virtual worlds, young people are immersed in a technologically rich environment, in a participatory culturue where they are not only consuming content, but also producing it and sharing it with others.
People learn better when givien opportunities to create their own projects. The growing fields of the learning sciences and educational technologies have long acknowledged this. Over the past four decades, new tools and approaches have been designed and evaluated to support children in creating and sharing their own computer-based projects.
The field of youth development has only recently started to examine how the creation of content might have an impact on children's development. Much of the early work has taken a media effects perspecive by looking at the impact of new technologies on children--as opposed to analyzing what children are doing with the technology. Also, too often youth experiences with technology have been framed in negative terms by highlighting the danger of of new technologies.
This issue of New Directions for Youth Development explores the many positive ways in which children and youth in both the United States and abroad, in urban and rural settings, are taking advantage of new technologies to create projects with their own content. In the process, they are embarking on personal and community journeys that engage them in many facet of positive development.
This is the 128th volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions. The result is a unique resource presenting thoughtful, multi-faceted approaches to helping our youth develop into responsible, stable, well-rounded citizens.