What is DYN?

DYN is the Digital Youth Network, a program that merges in-school and out-of-school learning opportunities through new media.

What is Remix World?

Remix World is the DYN’s contained social-networking website. Remix World is a community of active new-media producers and consumers. Participants in Remix World are DYN youth and select adult mentors.

What is new media?

Young people today are growing up amid affordable technology that allows them to design and create high quality digital music, movies, websites, and games – otherwise known as new media products. They are able to act not only as media consumers but as media producers as well.

Why is new media literacy important?

While the traditional learning goals of reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic will always be the foundation of a student’s school experience, a new set of skills is necessary for 21st century citizenship, workforce preparedness, and lifelong learning. And though many young people are becoming “digital natives” who possess the technological and cognitive skills for success in the 21st century, a segment of our society – urban, minority youth – lag in the development of these capabilities. Some observers see this as a resource gap and lack of access to technology. We believe it is more a participatory gap caused by a lack of learning opportunities.

How will my son or daughter use new media skills in school?

The ways in which young people engage with the world is different from the ways their parents did growing up in the era of the traditional book report. Today, a student might represent his understanding of a book through a song, simulation, graphic representation, or short movie. These new media artifacts might be created individually or collaboratively with friends. They could even be produced with partners across the country or around the world. The Internet and the low cost of sharing media-based artifacts have opened up opportunities to collaborate and share. And of particular significance, these learning opportunities are no longer geographically bounded.

How does DYN merge learning environments?

A typical student’s day is segmented into four distinct spaces: school, afterschool, home, and community. These spaces often are viewed as separate and disjointed worlds that do not impact each other. While technical advances have been made to connect these spaces, they have not been brought together in meaningful ways that allow young people to build bridges between each world.

Through the social network Remix World, participants in DYN will post work and interact with a community of peers and mentors via:

• In-school: Media Arts courses to develop base literacy

• After-school: Interest-driven, mentor-led learning

• At home: Self-paced learning

What does DYN provide?

The DYN program provides students 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;

• Adult mentors who are artists in the field and who develop students’ technical skills, serve as role models, and provide students access to the communities of practice surrounding technology-based careers;

• Social perspective of urban and predominately minority experience with which to understand, analyze, and critique current media portrayals.

What skills will students develop through their involvement in DYN?

Participating students will develop:

• The ability to create and critique new media objects that impact self, family, community, and the world;

• New media literacy fluency;

• Identities as powerful users, creators, and teachers of technology;

• Fluency in this new language as digital natives, demonstrating all of the cultural markers that denote being at home in this world.

What are outcomes for students who have gone through DYN?

• 40 percent of 2009 eighth-graders were accepted to selective enrollment high schools (district average was 5 percent)

• Test scores consistently outperformed city and state

• Participation gap reduced

• Students recognized as leaders in the use of new media

• Students took ownership of learning, moving beyond classroom boundaries