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Why Low Performing Schools Need Digital Media

Why Low Performing Schools Need Digital Media
Craig Watkins, Huffington Post, January 9, 2011

When the social and digital media revolution gained momentum at the dawn of the new millennium, no one would have predicted that less than a decade later black and Latino youth would be just as engaged as their white, Asian, and more affluent counterparts. Across a number of measures — use of mobile phones and gaming devices, social network sites, and the mobile web — young blacks and Latinos are beginning to outpace their white counterparts. For years the dominant narrative related to race and technology in the U.S. pivoted around the question of access. Today, the most urgent questions pivot around participation and more specifically, the quality of digital media engagement among youth in diverse social and economic contexts.

Picture this: In the very near future the population in many of the major metropolitan areas in the U.S. will be significantly shaped by young Latinos and African Americans. A recent estimate from the 2010 U.S. Census data finds that U.S. Latinos make up nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population under age 20. Themedian ages for Latinos and African Americans is, respectively, 26 and 30. This is compared to a median age of 39 among non-Latino whites. Forty-five percent of children younger than five in the U.S. belong to non-white groups. The population that public schools educate in America will reflect these seismic demographic shifts.  (Read more)


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