Since opening in 2009, the MacArthur-supported YOUmedia Chicago — a learning center for teens at the Harold Washington Library downtown — is attracting between 350 and 500 teenagers a week, according to Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library, a research report by The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. The report found the largest single group attending YOUmedia is African American males, who historically have been underserved by after-school programs. About half of the teens use YOUmedia to create original work or do homework, while the other half use a variety of media such as video games or podcasts or socialize and attend open mic sessions. There are currently 30 learning centers across the country being modeled on YOUmedia Chicago.
Digital Media & Learning
MacArthur is exploring how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. The goal is to make education more powerful for all students by creating more opportunities for more youth to engage in learning that is relevant to their lives and prepares them for success in school, the workplace, and their community.