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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 for OECD - INDIRE New Millennial Learners Conference Florence March 5-7, 2007. Civic Engagement -Learning .

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using digital media to engage young citizens

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

civic engagement learning
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
what are the challenges
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
electoral activity low
Electoral Activity Low

DotNets born 1977-1987

Source: PEW U.S. Civic Health Survey

slide8

GenerationalCitizen IdentityDifferences

Youth: Actualizing Citizen (AC) Older: Dutiful Citizen (DC)

research and education policy competing views of citizenship
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
the policy challenge
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
use interactive technologies to bring democracy into the classroom
~ 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
create communication environments
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
but how to motivate gen next
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
slide15

Center for Communication & Civic Engagement

Lance Bennett, Director

www.engagedcitizen.org

Information ~ Technology ~ Community

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