The National Writing Project (NWP) has created a fabulous resource where teaching ideas, reflections, and stories about writing in our digital, globally interconnected world have been collected and beautifully organized. That resource is a called Digital IS
One particular section within Digital IS is dedicated to helping teachers understand how youth are communicating and how digital tools can be used to promote social, political, and economic change. Within their collection site called “Digital Tools for Change” powerful resources are shared in which urban youth and their teachers create digital projects designed “to interrupt and challenge existing structures of domination, oppression, and control that have historically and systemically crippled their communities.”
Digital Youth Network
Bridging the world of school, home, and afterschool activities, the Digital Youth Network aims to engage middle school students and give them access and training in the use of new media literacy tools. DYN creates meaningful activities where students develop new media literacy and critical thinking skills while working towards accomplishing their project goals. Topics include a 6th grade record label class, a 7th grade digital story telling class, and an 8th grade product design class.
The Council of Youth Research
This partnership between UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access and Los Angeles high school students, provides opportunities for students to actively engage in research for school and community change. Students collaborate with UCLA graduate students, professors, and teachers “to brainstorm, strategize, collect, analyze, and report data to key stakeholders to affect change.” These student researchers have worked with Los Angeles Unified School District administrators and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on various projects and have presented their findings at several educational conferences to highlight the issues plaguing urban education today.
Located at Arise High School, Oakland, California, this outside-of-school program incorporates the use of media production and literacy skills in order to create artistic expressions and cultural critiques. Youth Roots members get authentic practice in in spoken word poetry, emceeing, music production, graphic design, digital photography, digital video, digital journalism (via podcasting, digital storytelling, and video production), and event production.