Digital Learning Connects Youth to Opportunity
EdSurge featured two of our Reclaiming Digital Futures partners Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF) and Dream Yard in a new article about how youth are developing cutting edge skills to prepare them for future employment opportunities. While both organizations are leveraging technology, youth are learning far more than anything that requires them to plug in.
When facilitators at Digital Harbor Foundation’s Maker Foundations program give a group of students an electric toothbrush, a plastic cup, a few markers and some rubber bands, then tell them: Build a robot that draws… without any additional guidance, they are teaching youth that they can teach themselves new skills. Afterall, they have Google and each other. Basic robotics and effective Google research are just the tip of the iceberg; students learn problem solving, collaboration, innovation, project management, and much, much more. The goal of this approach to digital learning is to prepare youth for the jobs of the future and for the ones we can’t even yet imagine. With the skills to take on new challenges and learn how to be successful, youth will be prepared for any digital or analog opportunity that arises.
DHF also regularly uses client work as pedagogy. Youth in their programs learn by doing real work for real paying clients, not observing.
Dream Yard allows students to connect artistic endeavors, social justice and digital savvy. Through developing online learning portfolios, they are not only documenting their artistic processes, they are also presenting their work in a manner that helps them create opportunities for themselves, from applying to arts schools to participating in online and analog arts communities.