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Wednesday, August 1 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Research Paper Panel: Teched Out Libraries, Digital Parenting Inequities and Learning Badges

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Technology Use in Rural and Urban Public Libraries: Implications for Connected Learning in Youth Programming
Katie Davis, Mega Subramaniam, Emily L. Romeijn-Stout

Public libraries represent fertile ground for promoting connected learning. However, there is great variation in public library systems across the United States, with important implications for the way connected learning is introduced and implemented in specific libraries. This paper examines variations in the way librarians in rural and urban libraries employ technology and enact connected learning in their youth programs. We conducted interviews with 46 youth librarians working in rural (22) and urban (24) public libraries across the US. Our analysis revealed differences between rural and urban libraries in the range of their community partnerships; the roles that librarians and youth assume in designing, leading, and evaluating youth programs; and sources of external support. We discuss the implications of these findings for designing professional development initiatives that are tailored to the distinct contexts in which public youth librarians work.

Reproducing digital inequality: wealthy and poor parents’ approaches to parenting in a digital age
Sonia Livingstone

In this paper we examine how parents’ access to resources – financial but also related resources including cultural and social capital – influence how they approach digital media in their own and their children’s lives. We detail two case study families, the Apaus (a low-income Ghanaian-British family) and the Thiebaults (a high-income French family living in London). Both families have sons who are learning to code, but how they pursue this interest and how they are supported by their parents illustrate how parental access to resources influences connected learning experiences. Contra the theories of Annette Lareau, we show how both families are actively turning to digital media to ‘cultivate’ their son’s interests, at great costs relative to their very different resources, but that this cultivation may well be unequally converted into opportunities in the future.

Using Digital Badges to Promote Student Agency and Identity in Science Learning
 Katie Davis

We investigate the potential for digital badges to support youth agency and identity in an afterschool science program serving diverse high school students. We conducted contextual interviews with 36 students aged 14-19 participating in the program, inviting them to interact with a badge system prototype designed to help them track their progress through the program. Students recognized the potential for badges to provide visible learning pathways, connect learning across contexts, and establish the credibility of the skills they acquired in the program. They also raised challenges associated with sharing their badges with external audiences, such as the challenge of demonstrating the value of a badge and privacy concerns. This paper demonstrates how the design of a digital badge platform can successfully embody supports not only for student agency and identity in science learning, but also greater equity in and access to future learning and career opportunities.

avatar for Katie Davis

Katie Davis

Assistant Professor, University of Washington
Dr. Katie Davis is an Assistant Professor at The University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of digital media technologies in adolescents’ academic, social, and moral lives. She also serves as an Advisory Board Member for MTV’s digital abuse campaign... Read More →

Sonia Livingstone

Professor, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political
Sonia Livingstone is a full professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. She is author or editor of eighteen books, including Children and the Internet: Great Expectations, Challenging Realities (Polity 2009), Harm and Offence in Media Content: A review of the empirical... Read More →

Emily Romeijn-Stout

PhD Student, University of Washington iSchool
avatar for Mega Subramaniam

Mega Subramaniam

Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Mega M Subramaniam, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Information Policy and Access Center in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Subramaniam’s innovative research focusses on the use of school and public libraries as effective... Read More →

Wednesday August 1, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm
MIT Tang Center, E51-145 - Lecture Hall, Building E51 2 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Attendees (36)