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Using Digital Media to Engage Young Citizens ~ Lance Bennett Center for Communication and Civic Engagement University of Washington, Seattle, USA ~ Prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Digital Media to Engage Young Citizens ~ Lance Bennett Center for Communication and Civic Engagement University of Washington, Seattle, USA ~ Prepared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Digital Media to Engage Young Citizens ~ Lance Bennett Center for Communication and Civic Engagement University of Washington, Seattle, USA ~ Prepared for OECD - INDIRE New Millennial Learners Conference Florence March 5-7, 2007 ~ Lance Bennett Center for Communication and Civic Engagement University of Washington, Seattle, USA ~ Prepared for OECD - INDIRE New Millennial Learners Conference Florence March 5-7, 2007

2 Civic Engagement -Learning Cognitive skills: -- political reasoning - develop/express public voice Social value-lifestyle: NML effective personal expression - identity Learning outcomes: knowledge about government - how to participate Educational achievements: informed citizens who participate in public life Cognitive skills: -- political reasoning - develop/express public voice Social value-lifestyle: NML effective personal expression - identity Learning outcomes: knowledge about government - how to participate Educational achievements: informed citizens who participate in public life

3 What are the challenges? What schools do best -- (teaching textbook knowledge about government) is the least effective/ motivating for NMLs What appeals to NML personal identity and digital lifestyles is hard to introduce into schools Solution A) understand the generational changes in citizen identities among NMLs (1980--) B) understand how to use technologies to motivate a change from private to public life What schools do best -- (teaching textbook knowledge about government) is the least effective/ motivating for NMLs What appeals to NML personal identity and digital lifestyles is hard to introduce into schools Solution A) understand the generational changes in citizen identities among NMLs (1980--) B) understand how to use technologies to motivate a change from private to public life

4 Research Findings: Generational Declines in Traditional Participation

5 Electoral Activity Low DotNets born Source: PEW U.S. Civic Health Survey

6 Research Findings: Rise in Direct Personal Action

7 Personal Direct Action High

8 Generational Citizen Identity Differences Youth: Actualizing Citizen (AC) Older: Dutiful Citizen (DC) Weak duty to participate in government Strong duty to participate in government Focus on lifestyle politics & personal activities: consumerism, volunteering, social activism Voting is the core democratic act Mistrust of media and politicians -- does not follow politics in the news Informed about issues and government -- follows the news Joins loose networks for social action – communicate through digital media Joins social organizations and parties -- communicate through mass media

9 Research and Education Policy: Competing Views of Citizenship Two paradigms or schools of thought Disengaged youth? -- yes, if focus is on voting, knowledge about politics & government (emphasizes DC citizen identity) Engaged youth? -- yes, if focus on community work, consumer politics -- online communities (emphasizes AC citizen identity) Result -- conflicting & poorly developed approaches to civic engagement & education Two paradigms or schools of thought Disengaged youth? -- yes, if focus is on voting, knowledge about politics & government (emphasizes DC citizen identity) Engaged youth? -- yes, if focus on community work, consumer politics -- online communities (emphasizes AC citizen identity) Result -- conflicting & poorly developed approaches to civic engagement & education

10 Most civic education designed by older DC citizens - offering little for ACs

11 The Policy Challenge Civic Engagement Programs that Appeal to AC citizens -- active/personal contact with real problems and issues Support DC values, but … avoid textbook government avoid presenting citizenship as duty Offer personal paths to government Using familiar social networking media Civic Engagement Programs that Appeal to AC citizens -- active/personal contact with real problems and issues Support DC values, but … avoid textbook government avoid presenting citizenship as duty Offer personal paths to government Using familiar social networking media

12 Source: Craig Peden, Microsoft Educational Solutions Group

13 ~ Use Interactive Technologies to Bring Democracy into the Classroom~ Use interactive technologies to help young citizens: Communicate with each other Build a political agenda Organize and act effectively Communicate with government Learn public communication skills Use interactive technologies to help young citizens: Communicate with each other Build a political agenda Organize and act effectively Communicate with government Learn public communication skills

14 Create Communication Environments In public space -- outside of schools Link both schools and personal life to those spaces via networking IT Build curriculum to help students discover community issues Teach digital media literacy in schools - to develop PUBLIC VOICE Make it fun -- produce & share content In public space -- outside of schools Link both schools and personal life to those spaces via networking IT Build curriculum to help students discover community issues Teach digital media literacy in schools - to develop PUBLIC VOICE Make it fun -- produce & share content

15 But How to Motivate Gen Next? I. Recognize citizen identity shifts less collective responsibility/civic duty strong interest in making a difference in society II. Use new learning & comm. preferences make learning: interactive, experiential, group use digital media to personalize information use online tools to link political info & action III. Link classroom to government & society Use media to engage students in public spheres I. Recognize citizen identity shifts less collective responsibility/civic duty strong interest in making a difference in society II. Use new learning & comm. preferences make learning: interactive, experiential, group use digital media to personalize information use online tools to link political info & action III. Link classroom to government & society Use media to engage students in public spheres

16 Center for Communication & Civic Engagement Lance Bennett, Director Information ~ Technology ~


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