This article from the lovely Creative Commons Blog caught my eye today, particularly because the forum aims to look at “how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.”  Definitely cool (and no surprise that it’s being hosted at Stanford, either).   However, I am rather curious.  They say that proposed topics include:

  • Teen Socialization Practices in Networked Publics
  • Understanding New Media in the Home
  • Hip Hop Music and Meaning in the Digital Age
  • New Media from a Youth Perspective
  • (emphasis mine)

    I feel like this is one of those segments on Sesame Street:  “One of these things is not like the other.”  Socialization and networks – OK.  New media in the home and from a youth perspective – OK.   Hip Hop Music and Meaning – huh?  This stands out rather unusually to me.  My questions:

    • Why hip hop?  Why not other genres of music?  Or maybe there is another topic:  “Classical Music and Meaning in the Digital Age: from Chopin to Garage Band”?
    • Why only music?  Why not video, television, and podcasts? (although perhaps these are the other “new media”)

    Anyone else?

    One Response to “CC: New Media in the Everyday Lives of Youth”
    1. I haven’t read the descriptions of the topics in question, but I agree that the narrowing down to ‘hip hop music’ is rather strange and typically ‘scholars study youth culture’. Your suggestion on having a topic named “Classical Music and Meaning in the Digital Age: from Chopin to Garage Band”? makes much more sense to me.

      Teenagers and youth are not a homogenic group. They are diverse and their interests span from WoW to ballet and pointilism to Guitar Hero – and this diversity is fascinating and particularly how the media and other ‘experts’ pick up on trends and try to analyze them. Teenagers have been liable to stigma for ages, and in the 21st century that is definitely contiuing. Perhaps in particular when it comes to digital media. As a teacher I do see that many of my 5th graders do not master the digital skills in spite of them being young, able and exposed to the digital world every day. Their skills are often limited to gaming, simple browsing, chatting and multicommunication.

      And this is our job as teachers – to fill in that void and help them better understand the digital age – and this task in benefitial for students and educators alike.

      Enjoy reading your blog!