digitally connected

digitally connected

intro’d to them via their book of same name – came out 2015:

from their site (linked above):

The ebook is available for download at no cost at:

In this unique ebook, more than 30 academics, practitioners, government officials, tech industry representatives and activists team up with 25 youth contributors to share their views and opinions about digital technologies and the impact the Internet has on young people’s lives. Collectively, the contributors address a series of big questions related to youth and digital media by exploring key topics such as safety and wellbeing; identity, privacy and reputation; skills, literacies, and cultures of learning; creativity; innovation and entrepreneurship; participation and civic engagement; and youth participation and policy.


Digitally Connected was launched in April 2014 at a first-of-its-kind international symposium on children, youth, and digital media co-hosted by the Berkman Center and UNICEF, in collaboration with PEW Internet, EU Kids Online, the Internet Society (ISOC), the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), and  This event was followed by “Conectados al Sur,” a regional (Latin America and Caribbean) symposium on child and youth digital citizenship co-hosted by Argentina’s Ministry of Justice and Human Rights through the National Directorate for Personal Data Protection, UNICEF Argentina (with the support of the Division of Communication at UNICEF headquarters), and the Berkman Center.


some people from bio list: Urs Gasser, Rey Junco, Sonia Livingstone, David Sengeh, ..


my notes/highlights from book:

ict – information & communication technologies

p. 10 – Nishant Shah

this notion of the edge, not as a point of containment, but as a porous, in-the-making, shifting, and tenuous border gives us a new way of thinking about he margins. …margins are spaces for scholia – the unauthorised world of the text – that contests, questions and re-interprets the texts in different ways, in our politics around identity and community rights, the margins are often the locations that critique the center by offering alternative visions.

p. 12

the networked margins embody this notion of unknowing because they remain constantly in motion and fluctuating, where even the nodes are not pre-determined but actually created only through the flow of traffic.

rhizo ness

also found this interesting – on open – from Nishant – responding to Audrey:

open anything… what does it even mean.

1\ not about open, but about the closed – as in – open should be the given, we should be questioning the closed ness

5 min – basic problem – we think of the human as a resource, ie: data set, info streams, …finite, discrete,… all of our impulses/desires of learning/communicating are negotiations between convenience and privacy.. thus the opening of the individual learner in these systems is sometimes the process of reduction .. the notion of open is an externalized one..

6 min – on us seeing digital as open, human or closed, and human needed digital to open it up..

7 min – whether trade off of openness and privacy… is good or bad is a moot point.. arguing about the trade off – makes us think of openness and privacy as a resource.. as property.. it makes us believe our transactions are only about worth and not value/values..

8 min – we need to re-conceptualize the open as a fundamental human value/right. open is what we are… inseparable.. rather than possession/wealth. it’s not a state of negotiation.. it’s a sacred/crucial state of being… it has to be inviable.

existing convo around openness stay focused on what needs to be open and how, what al..- .. puts emphasis question on transparency, accountability, monitoring, accessibility, .. while these logistic issues are important – they cannot be the center of focus discussion around the open.. time to connect the open to not just machine logics.. but to more human.. and crucial questions of equality, equity, justice, joy.

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p. 13 – Maria Liliana Mor

having the skills to teach in an ict access center is very different from having the skills to tackle a learning process and reach an understanding of disability that fosters a holistic inclusion for youth with disabilities, from a human rights perspective.


dis\order ness

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p. 16 – Camila Urbina

we often find years later, when visiting some communities that received donation, that the tablets, computers are in a corner gathering dust… why? because people had neither the resources nor knowledge to use them, and the first group of young people trained by those projects was grown up and long gone, or interested in activities that represented viable economic opportunities for them and their families.

the challenge presented to us now, one that was highlighted during the symposium, is to find a way to generate cyclical ownership in the communities.

self-generating sustainability ness

this means not only shipping boxes full of equipment, but also giving these communities the opportunity to be part of sustainable projects for access to information and digital literacy. this can allow generation after generation to take advantage of the resources and knowledge to improve their economic opportunities.

depending on definition of economics.. add – and/or live their lives. ie: chip ness toward another way ness..

p. 17

there are more than 230000 public libraries – 73% of the world’s total – in developing and transitioning countries. and whether they are in big cities or in remote communities, libraries can provide the perfect space to host digital literacy training and empowerment projects for children and youth.

or simply spaces of permission.. of access.. which libraries (anywhere) don’t always allow/provide (B)

using library’s smartphones, laptops, and video conferencing tools, schools that are hundreds of kilometers apart are able to engage in interschool debates, quizzes, and spelling competitions.


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p. 25 – Jorge Flores Fernández

prevention work starts with being aware of the issue, the possible risks and harms, as well as the responsibilities and consequences…. teenagers (all of us no..? for anything..) are practically unstoppable if they want to ..

need for a nother way to live, for systemic change.. where everyone has something else to do..  2 needs ness – as opposite of addiction.. human connection..

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p 36 – Djordje Krivokapi

reputation is a public image created by society, based on available information and ruling social norms.

according to danah boyd (2014, p.11), networked publics create new opportunities and challenges, which include persistence (longevity of online content), visibility (global potential audience), spreadability (content is easy to share), and searchability (content is easy to find).


further, children and youth are usually unaware of the differences between networked publics and other publics they belong to; it is challengin to distinguish between the online and offline versions of themselves (Palfrey & Gasser 2008).

should we? re: eu\daimon\ia ness

teens consider technology as another part of their everyday life, whereas for many adults it reveals changes that are deeply diturbing (boyd 2014, p. 14)

on revolution of everyday life ness

articles 8 and 16 of the un convention on the rights of the child claim that identity and privacy are basic human rights created upon birth granted to individuals regardless of age, while reputation is created in the socialization process by third parties and reputational systems. …. there are valid arguments why third parties should in my view be restricted to collect data and create an individual’s reputation before a certain age of social maturity.

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p. 46 – Rey Junco

years ago, scholars focused on the issue of the digital divide – that is, divisions between the “haves” and the “have nots” in access to new technologies. recent research shows that access to information and communication technologies (icts) has equalized; however, differences in how people use these technologies remain.


2014 – 4.4 billion still don’t have internet access


p. 47

while there was near-unanimous agreement that improving digital literacy is an important task, there was little agreement on its definition. this is due in part to the fact that there is a wide range of definitions available in education literature, but also because digital literacy skills can mean different things in different regions. for instance, a child in a low-resource region might need to learn how to turn on a computer and how to use the mouse and keyboard; while a child in a high-resource region might need to learn how to be a good digital citizen.


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p. 50 – Gameli Adzaho

interestingly, ghanaian homemade youtube dance videos uploaded by students evidence some content creation skills. the challenge for teachers and students is to turn this extracurricular hobby into learning opportunities.


p. 51

another bottleneck plaguing ghana, like many african countries, is weak infrastructure often manifested through erratic electricity supply and poor quality internet connectivity outside urban centers. as the economy grows, demand continues to escalate, leaving many consumers frustrated. without stable electricity and internet, talk of using technology for education becomes irrelevant.

on the need for more research into policy.. (B)

– – – –

p 59 – Ricarose Roque

influenced by John Maeda – while he was prof at mit

everybody should have such abilities to get their voice and ideas out in the world.

and so many ways to do it today.. ie: all listed, and vest ness, and … not ness..

p, 60

to make coding meaningful, we need to make coding personal and social.

or – if it’s/we’re an authentic means.. won’t its allure show up – for a person immersed in everyday life..

– – – –

p. 61 – Matthew Battles, Sarah Newman, Luca Simeone, .. mapping danger

the images they’re piecing together chart the everyday weirdness of the city.. maps of another kind, charting the evanescent geography of danger and curiosity in the city.

in the city as the day graphic stilly 5





p. 63

mapping networks, making worlds, in boston and then in bogotá, colombia and quito, ecuador, engage children and youth in an exercise of critically mapping their communication networks, working to understand with whom they communicate using information communication technologies as both transmitters and receivers of information.

jerry’s brain… if output matters, input matters.. ness..

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p. 67 – Joseph Douillette

yole!africa (eastern congo) directly references the promotion of peace, while the ica (institute of contemporary art, boston) strives to share “the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, provocation, and imagination,” possibly offering a definition of peace (ica boston, 21014)

teen new media program, boston.. agree to full school year of weekly mtgs with expectation they will produce two new media works. first with small group…. in response to viewpoints seen on display in ica galleries.

p. 68

access to internet.. exposure to global range of .. experiences.. 15 yrs ago – would not have had this access..

my curriculum does not require work to confront personal perspectives of social injustice, but in the 12 years i have been directing this program, it has become clear to me that the medium mixed with the globalization of interaction, drives most students to confront this.

the students are encouraged to improvise so that they do not feel encumbered by conventions.

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p. 72 – Viola Kup, Nicholas Kimeu – usanii lab

the last thing people from africa need, is a european speaking for them…

why do slums still exist? the people i met in the eastlands of nairobi are clever, creative, and innovative; they are not so different from my friends in germany. .. what makes it so difficult to get out of a slum?

refugee camps ness

it was not the first time friends of mine had great opportunities overseas but couldn’t attend because of denied visas or passport issues. what was the american embassy afraid of: the next obama? christopher fabian, co-lead of unicef innovation unit, presented the fantastic u-report, n which he pointed out the importance of promoting local leaders, designers and innovators:

we need to get away from the idea of projects and ‘projects for people,’ its’ not about some people doing a project for others. (vosloo, 2014)

but why is it that several successful projects still do need support “from outside”?

there is a lack of infrastructure – no electricity or electricity cuts, no water or water restriction no sanitation criminality, and slow internet – all of these problems and more slow projects down. but there are also challenges that i, as a european or privileged kenyans, will most likely never get to know. they are invisible to outsiders, and so i wonder where an how they will ever be verbalized or included as part of a report… you might not receive a visa because officials worry you might not return to your home country. if you want to register a community-based organization, you would not be able to do so without an address or a p.o. box, which most likely you don’t have if you live in a slum. how can you officially look for funds without being registered? […] if you are walking along the street with your laptop in your backpack, you may suddently find yourself on the ground with a gun in your mouth, and if you can’t show the receipt of your laptop, the police will think you have stolen it..

hamza – all the above..

all of these obstacle might not stop you from being creative and innovative, but they will slow you down.

i learned in the eastlands of nairobi that this”chatting” (social media chats) is not just making conversation but also networking. we all need networking to build up a career, but in environments like a slum, you need networking to survive. your network is everything. it’s your security and your insurance.

p. 72

david sengeh, who founded innovative salone in sierra leone spoke at the symposium. in a recent cnn article, he said: “as a sierra leonian who was given an opportunity to pursue biomedical engineering at harvard and now a phd at mit, i understand that a basic set of tools and a supporting platform are needed to transform good ideas into projects that impact an entire community: (sengeh 2012)

p. 73

solutions must be found locally, as outsiders don’t even know what exactly the problems are, no matter how many surveys we do and reports we read.

from nicholas kimeu, from usanii lab:

for us here in kenya, we all have our code like any other person around the globe which connects us together despite the ups and downs, and that’s creativity.

when things change, we all have to bend out imagination to fit to our course. we’re living in a time in which we are forced to use our energy and brain every second to reach our purpose in life, ..

everything matters, an extra diversion of the brain comes not from education that takes us to a more constrained level, but from within – from creativity.

and as the whole world is becoming a small global village, communication in different ways is being shared constantly and simultaneously, and this increases cultural diversity form one end to another. all of this is a theory of my own, as a creative individual.

p. 75

although i have no proper proof to sustain my theory, i have one example and that’s usanii lab,.. the most knowledge we have acquired in the street is more valuable that what we got from school…

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p. 78 – Minu Limbu, Kanyankore Marcel Rudasingwa

then, how can we advocate for the rights of the child in the 21st centurey – digital age – when there are more mobile subscriptions and internet users than the total population of the world (gsma, 2014a)?



There are nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, estimates The International Telecommunication Union (May 2014). This is equivalent to 95.5 percent of the world population.
• That’s a billion extra mobile subscriptions in three years, but growth is slowing – 2011: 5.9 billion; 2012: 6.2 billion; 2013: 6.7 billion; 2014: 6.9 billion.
• Mobile subscriptions in the developed world is rapidly reaching saturation point. There are 1.5 billion subscriptions in developed nations, which is similar to 2013. With 120.8 percent mobile penetration, there is already more than one mobile subscription per person in developed nations, leaving little room for growth.
• Market growth is being driven by demand from the developing world, led by rapid mobile adoption in China and India, the world’s most populous nations. There are 5.4 billion mobile subscriptions in the developing world – that’s 78 percent of global subscriptions – compared with 5.2 billion in 2013, according to the ITU. Mobile penetration in the developing world now is 90.2 percent, but there is still potential for growth, particularly in Africa which has the lowest mobile penetration worldwide at 69.3 percent.
• The number of mobile phone subscriptions is not the same as the number of mobile users. Ericsson (February 2014), estimates that there were 6.7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide at the beginning of 2014 (6 percent more than last year). But there are only around 4.5 billion mobile users – as many people have several subscriptions for different devices. Ericsson attributes 1.2 billion – 18 percent – subscriptions to China and 762 million – 11 percent – to India.

not sure how this kind of data is helpful.. especially worded – more subscriptions and internet users – this has most people thinking that most – if not all people have the opportunity to be connected.. no?

p. 80

unicef globally leads hundreds of innovation projects for children that are very much grounded in the principle of innovation (unicef, 2013b) and putting children at the center of the planning processes (unicef, 2011,2012, 2013b)

i would love to see what that actually means/is/was. ie: if that were literally true i can’t imagine that by now how we wouldn’t see equity realized. that’s the power we have.. if only it were unleashed. no? if only we could let go.

zinn quote on people energy



classroom in a suitcase

p. 81

as next steps following the symposium, the berkman center’s professor dr urs gasser rightly emphasized the importance of collective, collaborative identification of innovative approaches for “connecting the dots” between policy makers, practitioners (including children and youth) and researchers. albert einstein once said that “problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created.”

– – – –

p. 84 – Bruce Baikie

content is always king..


– – – –

p. 86 – Eric Gordon

founder of the engagement lab in 2010

from their site:

The Engagement Lab is an applied research lab at Emerson College focusing on the development and study of games, technology, and new media to enhance civic life.

at symposium.. two (challenges) in particular stood out: not everyone in the room was a researcher – so there was no common understanding of “doing research” – and people came from a variety of professional disciplinary backgrounds – so there was a healthy variety of “problems” in need of researching.

was a researcher..? is that definition too limited perhaps..? how are we all not researchers..? and if so.. are we not missing (perhaps major) pieces to the art of researching..? i don’t know.

most people in the room suggested that their organizations use the language of engagement to define this area of work, yet the same organization tend to resort to measureing participation because it is far easier to quantify. especially within the context of digital media, actions such as clicks, retweets and likes are easy to report, but they alone do not fully capture stated engagement goals.

when an ngo, for example, labels youth engagement as a priority, they are articulating the need for ongoing connection with a thing (process, institution, or community) in a context of disconnection and fragmentation. … are such organizations simply trying to get youth to do things (participate) or are they trying to empower youth to connect (engage) meaningfully and on their own terms to the world around them? most importantly, are they measuring the thing they want to accomplish?

perhaps if there is any measuring – that’s what blurs the – in their own terms… no?

p. 87

i began to question how mobile devices, and the uncanny ability for them to precisely locate their users, was transforming how people engaged in their local communities. the experience of being in place, mediated by devices, was impacting how people considered local issues, participated in local politics, and connected to local cultures. the possibility of gaining information about one’s city or neighborhood, in place and in real time, was forcing the reconsideration of everyday civic engagement.

indeed. so imagine all that tech capability coupled with freeing people up – as the day. revolution of everyday life ness. life in perpetual beta, non-agenda-ized improv, et al, to get at the heart of life. no?

city sketch up ness

in my experience working with organizations  to design and implement playful engagement strategies organization actors are caught in between their desire to go deeper through play and the pressure to quantify participation in such a way that satisfies upper management and/or funders.

on play. and no strings ness.

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p. 90 – Andres Lombana-Bermudez

u report is a project created by unicef uganda that leverages the popularity of mobile phones and sms messaging among youth.

u report has become a successful system for information exchange about local communities in uganda and has demonstrated that youth participation and civic engagement can actively contribute to identifying and solving real world problems.

u report – sms in uganda for youth – linke i found says 288870 members, 37.58 million (2013) people in uganda

applying the principles of the connected learning model, in summer 2012, i helped to design and implement and action-research intervention in a majority latino\hispanic public high school in the austin metro area. during 3 weeks, a team from the uni of texas collab’d with a high school teacher and a group of 16 students in running a social innovation studio that we named dgzin (digital + design). ….for structuring the learning activities as dgzin, we used a real world challenge that connected all of the research, ideation work, and design processes to one essential question: is the pervasiveness of sugar creating toxic food environment? addressing this question allowed us to tell a research-driven civic engaging, and interactive story about a social problem that affected the everyday lives of children and youth, their families, and their community. equipped with mobile devices with multimedia capabilities, young designers researched the real world in order to validate what they were learning…