Learning at the Border: How Young People Use New Media for Community Action and Personal Growth

“Learning at the border” refers to learning that occurs in the border settings between the highly-structured realm of schools and the more diffuse realms of life in neighborhoods, such as after-school programs, boys and girls clubs, libraries, museums, and community centers. A second meaning relates to participants who learn through their interactions with those of different languages, cultural background, race, or social class. This paper describes projects in which university students and faculty work with community members to create spaces in which young people learn about new technologies and develop academic potential through self expression. In the projects, young people learn through modules such as operating systems, networking, multimedia and podcasting, GIS/GPS, and video game design. A common thread is that they learn how to use ICTs for community building, thus becoming active sustainers of their own communities.
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