Youth exchange and digital vitality
November 16th, 2007

Mindy Faber’s article Listening Across Borders: Creating Virtual Spaces for Youth Global Exchange is a thoughtful, practical account and guide for engaging youth. It includes key affirmations of our new global generation’s digital vitality.

On a day when the front page headlines of the New York Times once again announces a discouraging national report card for the city’s brick and mortar schools, Farber’s report is tells us that even impoverished youngsters are digitally literate:

Despite the high incidence of poverty on the island, the Bajan youth were digitally literate. Most youth access technology such as YouTube and satellite television regularly, although few had ever worked on Macintosh computers or software.

The Farber article also affirms that the new generation is eager to engage using digital networks:

The YouthLAB participants needed no persuasion to merge social activism with cultural production using digital networks. They did not need to be coaxed to talk about the issues affecting their lives with peers from a different country or prodded to sit down and watch media made by other youth. On the contrary, they couldn’t get enough of it. Clearly, youth with access to the tools of participatory culture experience new international and media-based sites as powerful and vibrant, fostering imagination, youth activism, and international exchange.

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