New e-book shares views on youth and digital media

a Berkman ebook

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Youth and Media this week released a new e-book, “Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media.” A first-of-its kind volume, the e-book combines essays from 30 academics, government officials, technology industry members and practitioners, with visual contributions from 25 young people, all from more than a dozen countries.

The book is a result of the Digitally Connected Symposium, co-sponsored by the Berkman Center and UNICEF, and held at Harvard Law School nearly a year ago. The symposium brought together 150 participants to help address the challenges and opportunities children and youth may encounter online.

“By making these diverse reflections and youth contributions available to the public, we hope to continue and further stimulate the global conversation about both the challenges and opportunities children and youth face online,” said Urs Gasser, executive director of the Berkman Center and the book’s co-editor.

“The heart and soul of Digitally Connected is this amazing group of people from all around the globe. Together we aspire to make the Internet an even better place and experience for all children and youth,” added Sandra Cortesi, director of Youth and Media and the book’s co-editor.

The 30 authors share views related to youth and digital media that span a broad range of topics, including safety and well-being; identity, privacy and reputation; skills, literacies, and cultures of learning, and youth participation and policy. The volume is free to download from the Social Science Research Network, and can be accessed here.

I had the pleasure of participating in the 2014 symposium and contributing an essay about a theme that emerged quite prominently for me at the event and remains with me today: the notion that online risk –appropriately managed and calculated – can be an opportunity to be embraced by youth, not simply a presumed consequence to be eliminated. Indeed, it is by taking measured risk, preferably under adult supervision and guidance, that young people acquire resilience, a stronger sense of self and coping and other important life skills.

I look forward to diving into the other contributions in the 130-page e-book, and applaud Berkman and UNICEF for spearheading this important global initiative.

To learn more about staying safer online generally, visit our website and check out our educational resources at the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub.

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