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How black and Latino youth learn, create, and collaborate onlineThe Digital Edge examines how the digital and social-media lives of low-income youth, especially youth of color, have evolved amidst rapid social and technological change. While notions of the digital divide between the "technology rich" and the "technology poor" have largely focused on access to new media technologies, the contours of the digital divide have grown increasingly complex. Analyzing data from a year‐long ethnographic study at Freeway High School, the authors investigate how the digital media ecologies and practices of black and Latino youth have adapted as a result of the wider diffusion of the internet all around us--in homes, at school, and in the palm of our hands. Their eager adoption of different technologies forge new possibilities for learning and creating that recognize the collective power of youth: peer networks, inventive uses of technology, and impassioned interests that are remaking the digital world. Relying on nearly three hundred in-depth interviews with students, teachers, and parents, and hundreds of hours of observation in technology classes and after school programs, The Digital Edge carefully documents some of the emergent challenges for creating a more equitable digital and educational future. Focusing on the complex interactions between race, class, gender, geography and social inequality, the book explores the educational perils and possibilities of the expansion of digital media into the lives and learning environments of low-income youth. Ultimately, the book addresses how schools can support the ability of students to develop the social, technological, and educational skills required to navigate twenty-first century life.
About the Author
S. Craig Watkins is the Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor and the founding director of the Institute for Media Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of five other books, Don't Knock the Hustle: Young Creatives, Tech Ingenuity, and the Making of a New Innovation Economy (2019), Young People's Transition Into Creative Work: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities (2019), The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (2009), Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement (2005), and Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema (1998).