06 SES 06, Informal Learning in Different Environments
The growing amount of digital scenarios we have at our disposal nowadays and the open access to an exponentially larger number of people are making virtual communities a common place where people meet, interact, create and share. Specifically, young people approach virtual communities out of curiosity, moved by their own concerns, personal motivations or by mere necessity. These young people often find a space of connection, to share, self recognition (of self and us), ownership or interest in which it is possible to collaborate, design, create and share, but above all, learn of others and with others.
Virtual communities are spaces that every day gather thousands of young people who approach these scenarios with the aim of knowing more about different themes, such as (1) arts and culture (music, literature, graffiti); (2) creation (movements like Makers or Do It Yourself); and (3) participation, social mobilization and post-materialist movements (environmentalists, pacifists). Among the investigations that have studied virtual youth communities, some research projects have addressed the study of the relationships and interactions in these communities (Ollari, Szpilbarg and Temelini, 2011; Raad, 2004; Ito et. al., 2008, Jenkins, 2009), but there are few studies that have explored their formative and educational potential. An exception is the work of García-Canclini (2014), García-Canclini and Urteaga (2012) and García-Canclini, Cruces and Urteaga (2013). These authors are analyzing in depth the new practices of creation and cultural consumption of young people (trendsetters, techsetters, prosumers and cultural entrepreneurs) in three sectors: edition, music and art.
Young people as creators of knowledge and virtual communities as learning spaces have hardly been investigated. Beyond what is explicit on the websites, we do not know what they learn, how they learn and which role these spaces have in building the identity of young people. Undoubtedly, we face an emerging, complex, important and little studied phenomenon. Why are virtual communities created?; why do young people get involved?; how do they self-regulate?; what knowledge is generated?
Taking off from a sociocultural approach to virtual communities and youth cultures, the project “Youth Virtual Communities: making visible their learning and their knowledge”, funded by Reina Sofia Center of Adolescence and Youth. The project seeks to provide answers to the question How and what do young people learn in virtual communities, in order to retrieve, visualize and explain the educational potential of virtual communities in the learning process and the construction of multiple identities by the youth, namely, people between 15 and 29 years from the Reina Sofia Center of Adolescence and Youth classification.
The main objective of the project is to retrieve and display young people learning practices and knowledge, from the identification and in-depth analysis of their participation in virtual communities.
The specific objectives that we are set to tackle are:
To identify and map virtual communities of young people.
To explore and identify what elements define virtual communities and their use as places of learning and production of knowledge (the feeling of community, group membership, trust, respect…)
To analyze how and what do young people that are actively involved in virtual learning communities learn.
To disclose, among the scientific community and the political and social agents, the results of the project: the educational and training potential of virtual learning communities for learning and the construction of the multiple identities of young people.
Carey, B. (2014). How we learn: the surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens. New York: Random House. Falzon, M. A. (2009). Multi‐sited Ethnography. Theory, praxis and locality in contemporary research. Burlington: Ashgate. García‐Canclini, N. (2014). ¿Jóvenes, techsetters, emprendedores o creativos? Dudas de una investigación. Versión. Estudios de Comunicación y Política, 34, 11‐20. García‐Canclini, N. & Urteaga, M. (Coord.) (2012). Cultura y desarrollo: Una visión crítica desde los jóvenes. Buenos Aires: Paidós. García‐Canclini, N., Cruces, F. y Urteaga, M. (Coord.) (2012). Jóvenes, culturas urbanas y redes digitales. Prácticas emergentes en las artes, las editoriales y la música. Barcelona: Ariel y Fundación Telefónica. Gabrielson, C. (2013). Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff. Sebastopol, CA: Maker Media. Hine, C. (ed.) (2005). Virtual Methods. Issues in Social Research on the Internet. Oxford, New York: Berg. Hine, C. (2004). Etnografía virtual. Barcelona: UOC. Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., Boyd, D., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P. G., ... & Robinson, L. (2008). Digital Youth research. Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures. MacArthur Foundation. Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Mit Press. Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Letigimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge Univertity Press. Lluch, G. (2014). Jóvenes y adolescentes hablan de lectura en la red. Ocnos, 11, 7‐20. http://www.revista.uclm.es/index.php/ocnos/article/view/441 Ollari, M; Szpilbarg, D. & Temelini, J. P. (2011). Nativos digitales en comunidades virtuales: un análisis de la interacción y sociabilidad de los adolescentes en la web en el caso argentino. Ánfora, 18(30), 121‐134. Raad, A. M. (2004). Comunidad Emocional, Comunidad Virtual: Estudio sobre las relaciones mediadas por Internet. Revista Mad, 10, 43‐94. http://www.revistamad.uchile.cl/10/paper06.pdf
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