The Digital Lives of African American Tweens, Teens, and Parents: Innovating and Learning with Technology

The Digital Lives of African American Tweens, Teens, and Parents: Innovating and Learning with Technology

Our Mission

The purpose of this work is to explore the educational impact of technology and digital media on African American families in non-school environments such as home and community. Through this study we hope that: program developers, policy makers, funders and the general public will acquire a more complete picture of intragroup differences among African Americans and their technology use; deepen understanding of how to better engage this group in effectively obtaining 21st century technical skills; identify new recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain African Americans becoming technology innovators; engage understudied individuals beyond the typical grassroots leaders; and consider different methods of collaborating with community partners.

This project will administer a national survey, conduct focus groups, and create a number of digital case studies as a way of broadening the impact of our work to reach audiences beyond the typical persons, such as scholars, researchers, and higher education experts, to include community grasstops and grassroots leaders, teachers, families, and so forth. To this end, we hope to work with community groups, policy makers, researchers, and media professionals to release annual results.

Two objectives shape this project:

1) To understand to what degree and in what ways are African American families using and learning with technology outside of formal learning environments.

2) To identify the mediating factors enabling African American families to use technology—namely digital technology including computers, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles-- for learning.

This website is based on research funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.