Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media
130 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 26, 2015
Reflecting on the 25th anniversaries of the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the adoption of the Convention on Rights of the Child by the US General Assembly, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and UNICEF co-hosted in April 2014 — in collaboration with PEW Internet, EU Kids Online, the Internet Society (ISOC), Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), and YouthPolicy.org — a first of its kind international symposium on children, youth, and digital media to map and explore the global state of relevant research and practice, share and discuss insights and ideas from the developing and industrialized world, and encourage collaboration between participants across regions and continents.
With a particular focus on voices and issues from the Global South, the symposium addressed topics such as inequitable access, risks to safety and privacy, skills and digital literacy, and spaces for participation, and civic engagement and innovation. The event also marked the launch of Digitally Connected — an initiative that brings together academics, practitioners, young people, activists, philanthropists, government officials, and representatives of technology companies from around the world who, together, are addressing the challenges and opportunities children and youth encounter in the digital environment. More information about the network (as well as the launch symposium) is available.
This book is one contribution by this growing, global network of collaborators and consists of two parts. The first part brings together a series of reflection pieces in form of short essays written by friends and colleagues who attended the Digitally Connected symposium at Harvard University. The second part consists of a collection of stories, art, and digital media by youth about their experiences online. These creative pieces were submitted through an open call, which consisted of 10 prompts youth could reflect upon.
The contributions in this book reflect the diversity of ideas and perspectives that form the core and spirit of Digitally Connected. Some of the reflection pieces are closely connected to issues discussed at the symposium, others reflect more generally on personal observations and/or opinions, or highlight and discuss insights and learnings from specific studies or concrete projects. By making these reflection pieces and the youth work available to the expanding Digitally Connected network as well as the public at large, we hope to continue and further stimulate the global conversation about both the challenges and opportunities children and youth encounter in the digital environment.
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