Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development From Playpen to Playground

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-03-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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With the advent of the digital age, research on the psychological impact of youth engagement with technology has surged. New technologies have often taken the blame for promoting negative (and potentially dangerous) youth experiences, such as cyber-bullying, sexual predation, privacy invasion, addiction to videogames, and exposure to violence. For many children and adolescents, however, digital media and technology provide positive ways to express identity, communicate with peers, and engage in civic activities across communities. Based on over a decade and a half of research,Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Developmentaims to guide readers in the design of digital technologies to promote positive behaviors in children and teenagers. Highlighting the positive impact of new technologies in various domains across the developmental span, from early childhood to late adolescence, the book explores how young people are using technology today, how these experiences influence different age groups and domains, and how mastering technological literacy can lead to confidence, competence, and developmental growth. Following this exploration, the author presents her own theoretical framework (coined Positive Technological Development, or PTD) for designing and evaluating programs to support children and teenager's positive uses of technology. Each chapter is supplemented with vignettes describing, from a developmental perspective, the diverse experiences of today's youth with current technology. Case studies are then presented that illustrate how PTD has effectively informed the design of educational programs. Offering a fresh perspective that bridges digital media and youth development models, this book will be an important resource for educators, policy makers, mental health professionals, as well as researchers interested in child development, psychology and learning technologies.

Author Biography

Marin Umaschi Bers, PhD is Associate Professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University, where she heads the interdisciplinary Developmental Technologies (DevTech) research group.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
The Digital Landscapes for Youth Overviewp. 19
Digital Playgrounds vs. Virtual Playpens in Early Childhoodp. 21
Multimedia Parks vs. Virtual Malls in the Elementary Yearsp. 36
Wireless Hangouts vs. A Palace in Time During High Schoolp. 52
Summaryp. 62
A Framework for Designing Digital Landscapes for Personal Development Overviewp. 63
Creating Digital Content to Promote Competencep. 67
Creativity to Build Confidencep. 82
Choices of Conduct to Develop Character Traitsp. 91
Communication for Promoting Connectionsp. 101
Collaboration to Form Caring Networksp. 111
Community Building as Contributionp. 119
Summaryp. 128
Plotting Learning Trajectories Through Design Overviewp. 131
Programs and Policiesp. 133
From Developing Curriculum to Designing Experiencesp. 135
Case Studiesp. 140
Conclusionp. 175
Referencesp. 178
Indexp. 190
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