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October 1, 2020

Today’s digital and online media demand an approach to learning keyed to a networked and interconnected world. The growth of online communities, social and online media, open educational resources, ubiquitous computing, big data, and digital production tools means young people are coming of age with a growing abundance of access to knowledge, information, and social connection. These shifts are tied to a host of new opportunities for interest-driven learning, creative expression, and diverse forms of contribution to civic, political, and economic life. Even learning of traditional academic subjects is increasingly supported in self-directed ways and in settings outside of the teacher-guided context of the classroom. At the same time, these changes raise new concerns such as challenges to the credibility of information, threats to privacy, changing literacy needs, and new demands for managing attention and connection. Most important, the changing media and technology landscape intersects with and threatens to exacerbate broader problems in civic and economic participation and to contribute to growing social inequalities.

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