Projects

The Affinity Project

Principal Investigators:

UNDERSTANDING AND IMPROVING ADULT-YOUTH MATCHES
This project builds on findings from a recent meta-analysis of over 70 youth mentoring program evaluations, in which my colleagues and I discovered that, when youth and mentors were matched on the basis of shared interest, the effect size of mentoring doubled. Through a series of follow-up investigations, we are exploring the development of youth interests and the role of shared interest in forging close intergenerational relationships.

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Connected Consumption

Principal Investigators:

The 2008 economic downturn has undermined economic security for many, bringing in its wake increased levels of unemployment and under-employment—especially for youth—along with reductions in wealth and heightened economic fear and insecurity. Almost simultaneously, public attention to the looming environmental crisis of climate change has accelerated, inspiring everything from “green consumption” to government-led initiatives to combat environmental degradation.

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The Digital Edge

Principal Investigators:

A greater diversity of young people in the U.S. are using digital media than ever before. So, why do issues related to technology, diversity, and equity continue to matter today? “The Digital Edge” is designed to explore how students, teachers, and families are engaging digital media in the face of significant social, financial, educational, and familial challenges.

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Leveling Up

Principal Investigators:

The Leveling Up project investigates the learning dynamics of interest-driven online groups that support academically-relevant knowledge seeking and expertise development. How do online groups and platforms support feedback, publicity, and reputation development that fosters skills and expertise? What kinds of learning resources are in the environment, such as teachers, coaches, and instructional materials? What kinds of social and technological supports encourage young people to participate, persist, and achieve? What are the learning and social outcomes of participation?

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Leveraging Horizontal Expertise

Principal Investigators:

This CLRN project at the University of Colorado at Boulder examines how the social organization of activity settings, forms of mediation, and tool use can be employed to leverage both horizontal (everyday) and vertical (scientific or school-based) kinds of expertise (Gutiérrez & Vossoughi, 2010) in children and young adults. Too often, especially in school or formal learning environments, everyday expertise and knowledge are in tension with school-based knowledge.

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Longitudinal Study of Connected Learning

Principal Investigators:

This project within the network is a survey-based research study that is examining children’s participation in connected learning environments in late elementary and middle school and the relationship of participation to valued outcomes. These outcomes include interest development, persistence in learning, civic participation, and development of a positive sense of the future. The CU-Boulder team will work with CLRN network members to develop and pilot the survey at different research sites. The team will oversee data collection and analysis of results.

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Network Members

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Mimi Ito
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