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Education, School of

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Book Chapter

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Published Version

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Journal or Book Title

Education and Social Media: Toward a Digital Future


Chapter 15

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While nearly 90 percent of adolescents have Internet access both inside and outside school,1 an emerging problem is the lack of opportunities for teens to become involved in digital media projects that support teenagers’ social, cultural, and political participation in the world. Even as some are troubled by the lack of young people’s involvement in traditional civic activities such as voting,2 others have seen civic engagement differently, drawing attention to teenagers’ interest in projects that are more personally meaningful, such as volunteering, activism, or consumerism.3 A new model of citizenship is taking shape in which young people use the affordances of the Internet to pursue interests through loosely based social networks.4 Informed by a broad conception of civic engagement, projects such as World’s Fair 2064 and Mouse offer the kind of participatory learning that can occur through the use of digital (and social) media. In both World’s Fair 2064 and Mouse, young people use digital media to address pressing community problems with peers and trusted adults. Each project is explored in more detail below.


This book chapter is published as Dr. Gleason’s paper to C. Greenhow, J. Sonnevend, and C. Agur (Eds) Education and Social Media: Toward a Digital Future, 231-240. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Posted with permission.

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MIT Press



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Published Version