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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 Millennium Learners Conference Florence March 7, 2007 ~ Lance Bennett Center for Communication and Civic Engagement University of Washington, Seattle, USA ~ Prepared for OECD - INDIRE New Millennium Learners Conference Florence March 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 -- is not effective teaching textbook knowledge about government -- not effective for NMLs Engaging NML personal identity and digital lifestyle is challenging for schools…. …because it is difficult to understand the generational changes in citizen identities among NMLs (1980--) What schools do best -- is not effective teaching textbook knowledge about government -- not effective for NMLs Engaging NML personal identity and digital lifestyle is challenging for schools…. …because it is difficult to understand the generational changes in citizen identities among NMLs (1980--)

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: political 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: Conflicting Conclusions Are young citizens disengaged? -- yes, if focus is voting & knowledge about politics & government (emphasis on DC citizen identity) Or are they Engaged ? -- yes, if focus is community work, consumer politics -- online communities (emphasis on AC citizen identity) Result -- conflicting & poorly developed approaches to civic education Are young citizens disengaged? -- yes, if focus is voting & knowledge about politics & government (emphasis on DC citizen identity) Or are they Engaged ? -- yes, if focus is community work, consumer politics -- online communities (emphasis on AC citizen identity) Result -- conflicting & poorly developed approaches to civic education

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

11 The Policy Challenge Civic Education 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 Education 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: Learn public communication skills Communicate with each other Build a political agenda Organize and act effectively Communicate with government Use interactive technologies to help young citizens: Learn public communication skills Communicate with each other Build a political agenda Organize and act effectively Communicate with government

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

15 Conclusions: 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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