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New Creativity Paradigms

Arts Learning in the Digital Age


Kylie Peppler

Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, this book explores research indicating that youth are learning new ways to engage in the arts on their own time and according to their own interests. Digital technologies, such as production tools and social media, allow youth to create and share their art. Kylie Peppler urges educators and policy makers to take advantage of «arts learning opportunities» and imagine a school setting where young people are driven by their own interests, using tablets, computers, and other devices to produce visual arts, music composition, dance, and design. This book gives educators an understanding of what is happening with current digital technologies and the opportunities that exist to connect to youth practice, and raises questions about why we don’t use these opportunities more frequently.
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2. How Are Youths Creatively Using Digital Technology?


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This section brings together survey research on the availability and use of digital technologies by young people, focusing on creative uses of media. By exploring access to new digital technologies and the degree to which young people are participating in creative production and consumption, we hope to outline a fertile landscape for sowing interest-driven arts learning.

Two main studies inform our work: The first comes from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which features a callback telephone survey of a randomly generated sample of 935 households with youths ages 12–17 years old (Lenhart & Madden, 2007).(1) Parents and children both responded to questions. The second study comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Its report, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-year-olds, features a nationally representative sample of 2,002 students ages 8-18, along with a sub-sample of 702 respondents who kept a seven-day media use diary (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010). When referring to findings from this report, we focus on teen groups wherever possible (ages 15–18).

Ownership and Use of Media

From the Kaiser report, we know that youths are spending a tremendous amount of time using media—an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day. Additionally, because youths are using more than one medium at a time (multi-tasking), they are actually packing 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of...

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