Digital Youth

Understanding, supporting and enhancing the interactions of youth with digital information and technology

Many digital trends come from the domain of young people who use technology in novel and creative ways.  Youth have different views on the importance of information privacy; have different expectations about the quality and frequency of engagement; find community through online gaming or social media platforms; learn about current events through non-traditional media sources; and expect to be constantly connected.

Insights into how the next generation consumes information through technology will benefit current and future customers by improving information systems and tools. Studies highlight the importance of early literacy skills and socialization as young people use technology to learn, connect and engage with the world around them.
iSchool researchers have conducted studies of digital natives, the information needs of homeless youth, the information behavior of young people in everyday contexts, and information services in libraries.

Visit the Digital Youth website for more information. 


The iSchool’s expertise and research in digital youth can assist organizations in the following ways:

  • Understanding potential future customers’ expectations relative to digital engagement
  • Creating products and services that support early literacy
  • Designing better training systems based on gaming
  • Understanding how to reach immigrant communities through youth
  • Creating products and services that support K-12 teaching and learning

Projects and Research

Digital Natives and Social Media
Research in Bermuda identified how teens communicate with each other using social media and mobile technologies and what the effect of this communication had on their development.

Job Hunting Support for Homeless Youth
A team of researchers worked with a local nonprofit to developing training programs to assist youth in applying for jobs online and develop effective digital resumes.

Early Literacy Best Practices
A three-year study is underway in Washington State to understand the role of libraries and daycare in promoting better early literacy outcomes with pre-kindergarten children.

Faculty Experts

Katie Davis
Mike Eisenberg
Karen Fisher
Dave Hendry
Andy Ko
Bob Mason
Karine Nahon