Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Digital Generation Youth Portraits

Today’s kids are born digital — born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it’s about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowermentEdutopia‘s in-depth coverage of students from around the country reveals how young people are using new media to learn, communicate, and socialize in new and exciting ways. The Digital Generation Project is produced with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Content for this project is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License.

You’ll meet unique kids who will show you how they’ve mastered digital tools. They’ll show you how they create, collaborate, and teach in ways that kids before them could scarcely imagine. As you watch and listen, you’ll learn, too. If you’re an educator, you’ll understand how digital tools are changing the classroom. You’ll find practical ideas on how to leverage the unique skills of this generation. If you’re a parent, you’ll access ideas and resources about how to support, protect, and better guide our children as we all continue to explore the digital age.

Digital Generation Youth Portraits:

digital youth


Age 11 | Indiana

Video Producer, Gamer

“I make a lot of movies with special effects — some things you really couldn’t do in real life.”

digital youth

Age 18 | New York

Video Producer, Activist, Social Networker, Gamer

“I’ve learned so much through Global Kids, and not just about filming and editing, but also about the world and people around me.”

digital youth

Age 18 | Oregon

Video Producer, Teacher

“I really enjoy technology, because it’s a better way to find out information and use that information for my community, not just for myself.”

digital youth

Age 13 | Illinois

Video Producer, Gamer

“My method of learning new software is really trial and error. If something doesn’t work out, just go back and try something else.”

digital youth

Age 12 | Illinois

Animator, Social Networker, Gamer

“When I grow up, I want to be a cartoonist, and a video game maker, and an artist. Technically, they all come together.”

digital youth

Age 14 | Georgia

Blogger, Social Networker, Teacher

“I’m teaching young elementary kids how to stay safe online.”

digital youth

Age 13 | New Hampshire

Graphic Designer, Video Producer, Activist

“I’m not sure I would know my alphabet if I didn’t have technology.”

digital youth

Age 9 | Maryland


“There are people in need in Haiti, and we’re trying to design a new Web site for them.”

digital youth

Age 16 | District of Columbia

Teacher, Gamer

“What I’m learning out of school I learn at a much faster pace and more effectively than what I usually learn in school.”

digital youth

Age 17 | California

Social Networker

“I don’t have a computer. I don’t always have a cell phone, but technology is like my lifeline, and without it, I don’t know what I would do.”

Youths submited short reflection on how new media has changed the way they learn. Check out their submissions here: Digital Generation Student Videos on YouTube.

Go Further:

» Use Digital Generation Project videos and articles with teachers, parents, and kids at your school. »Explore the resources of the MacArthur Foundation’s digital-media and learning initiative. » Read the report “Living and Learning with New Media.”

The above outline is from EDUTOPIA “The Digital Generation” site, you might follow its tweet (@EdutopiaDG) to stay in tune.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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