Digital Youth Network

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YOUmedia is a collaboration between the Chicago Public Library and Digital Youth Network, with generous support provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pearson Foundation through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

The Digital Youth Network (DYN) is a hybrid digital literacy program that creates opportunities for youth to engage in learning environments that span both in-school and out-of-school contexts. Begun at the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute and now with DePaul University, DYN supports youth in developing new media skills that are personally meaningful and necessary in their interactions with friends and family, in school, after school, and in their communities.

The Digital Youth Network model combines into one learning environment the affordances of the various contexts where youth spend their time. DYN not only develops youth's new media literacies but also creates meaningful opportunities for youth to use their new media literacies.

It is a model for the construction of a new youth-serving institution that is bounded neither by walls nor time of day. The core of the model spans the worlds of school, home, and afterschool activities, and it provides youth with:

  • Access and training in the use of new media literacy tools
  • Meaningful activities where the development of new media literacies is essential for accomplishing goals
  • A continuum of established new media mentors (high school through professionals) who develop students’ technical skills, serve as role models, and provide students access to the communities of practice surrounding technology-based careers

In its partnership with the Chicago Public Library, DYN supports new ways of activating and exploring themes found in traditional literature through the development of multimedia projects and applied technology.

YouMedia at the Harold Washington Library - 400 S. State Street