Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development: From Playpen to Playground

ISBN : 9780199757022

Marina Umaschi Bers
216 ページ
161 x 237 mm

With the advent of the digital age, research on the psychological impact of youth engagement with technology has surged. New technologies have often taken the blame for promoting negative (and potentially dangerous) youth experiences, such as cyber-bullying, sexual predation, privacy invasion, addiction to videogames, and exposure to violence. For many children and adolescents, however, digital media and technology provide positive ways to express identity, communicate with peers, and engage in civic activities across communities. Based on over a decade and a half of research, Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development aims to guide readers in the design of digital technologies to promote positive behaviors in children and teenagers. Highlighting the positive impact of new technologies in various domains across the developmental span, from early childhood to late adolescence, the book explores how young people are using technology today, how these experiences influence different age groups and domains, and how mastering technological literacy can lead to confidence, competence, and developmental growth. Following this exploration, the author presents her own theoretical framework (coined Positive Technological Development, or PTD) for designing and evaluating programs to support children and teenager's positive uses of technology. Each chapter is supplemented with vignettes describing, from a developmental perspective, the diverse experiences of today's youth with current technology. Case studies are then presented that illustrate how PTD has effectively informed the design of educational programs. Offering a fresh perspective that bridges digital media and youth development models, this book will be an important resource for educators, policy makers, mental health professionals, as well as researchers interested in child development, psychology and learning technologies.


Part I: The digital landscapes for youth
Chapter 1: Digital playgrounds v. virtual playpens in early childhood
Chapter 2: Multimedia parks v. virtual malls in the elementary years
Chapter 3: Wireless hangouts v. a palace in time during high school
Part II: A framework for designing digital landscapes for personal development
Chapter 4: Creating digital content to promote competence
Chapter 5: Creativity to build confidence
Chapter 6: Choices of conduct to develop character traits
Chapter 7: Communication for promoting connections
Chapter 8: Collaboration to form caring networks
Chapter 9: Community building as contribution
Part III: Plotting learning trajectories through design
Chapter 10: Programs and policies
Chapter 11: From developing curriculum to designing experiences
Chapter 12: Case studies
Case Study 1: Robotic playgrounds in early childhood
Case Study 2: Virtual worlds for medically ill pediatric patients
Case Study 3: A college campus for the future


Marin Umaschi Bers, PhD is Associate Professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University, where she heads the interdisciplinary Developmental Technologies (DevTech) research group.