Media MashUp was an IMLS funded Nation of Leaders Demonstration grant project (NLG-07-08-0113) designed to help libraries build capacity to offer computer-based programs for youth that help foster 21st Century literacy skills.
21st Century literacy skills include traditional literacy skills like reading and writing, but also encompass collaborative problem solving, innovation, media literacy and computer-based skills (www.21stcenturyskills.org). As such, libraries and other institutions that help foster a literate public need to adapt to this new reality. Peppler and Kafai (2007) suggest that libraries and other informal learning environments are ideal settings for youth to develop these literacy skills. However, change can be difficult, and the necessary steps to effect change are not always apparent at first. In Game Studio (Nelson, 2008), a pilot version of this project, a number of unanticipated organizational barriers were identified that hindered implementation of this type of program in libraries.
These barriers included incompatibilities between the library setting and the teaching approach, difficulties in using traditional evaluation methods in library settings, and difficulties recruiting and maintaining youth participation (Nelson, 2008). Building on these findings, a significant part of the Media MashUp project is dedicated to developing a better understanding of the organizational change that needs to occur in libraries to adapt to the emerging paradigm of the early 21st century literacy needs.
During the course of the project we learned many things about how run effective workshops in libraries. Keith and Jennifer have also written about technology workshops for youth in Technology and Literacy: 21st Century Library Programming for Children and Teens, which was published by ALA Editions in fall 2011. You can order a copy here or on Amazon here