Over the past several weeks I've had the chance to look at some of the data collected as a part of the Media Mashup evaluation, including:

  • Data on youth use of Scratch in formal and informal Media Mashup learning environments.
  • Continued use of Scratch by youth that took part in Media Mashup programs.
  • 21st century skill acquisition as a part of formal and informal Scratch programs.

Discoveries related to youth that participated in Media Mashup programs include:

  • Youth who took part in Scratch sessions, and who continued to use the software after project workshops and open lab sessions, often gravitated to one type of project development. For example, two of the most active Media Mashup Scratch developers focused on game building. It looks like young people often find a purpose for their Scratch projects and stick with the software in order to build for that purpose and to learn more about a particular topic.  The most active Media Mashup Scratch users made more than one version of their projects in order to extend or expand on what was first created.
  • Active Media Mashup Scratch developers also were the most active in the larger Scratch community. These youth added comments to other's Scratch projects and asked questions on other's Scratch projects. An investment in developing with Scratch also points to an investment in the community as a whole.
  • Many youth that participated in Media Mashup Scratch formal or informal learning sessions did not continue with Scratch outside of the workshop or lab setting.  Taking a look at why the youth did not continue would be useful to librarians and others who are working on developing technology-based projects for youth.

Discoveries related to 21 century skill acquisition and program provision include:

  • There wasn't as much of a difference in acquisition of 21st century skills between open lab environments and formal workshop settings as one might anticipate. For example, it might be expected that leadership and responsibility would be more often noted in open lab settings in which youth need to more often manage their own time and learning and where helping each other might be a more common occurrence. This was not born out by the data collected as a part of the Media Mashup project.  This points, at least in part, to the need for librarians and youth to have more opportunities to work within open lab environments in order to gain confidence and comfort in supporting and taking on skills related to leadership and responsibility.
  • In the area of technology challenges, librarians that submitted reflection surveys as a part of Media Mashup, did not regularly report many problems with the technology they used during Scratch sessions. The two most common barriers to successful technology use reported were access to the Scratch site and use of Scratch on Linux-based computers. This is good news as it demonstrates that librarians who worry about using Scratch because of potential problems with hardware or software can see from this data that the glitches are less numerous - and very specifically focused - in many settings the same issues won't arise.
  • Librarians noted in their reflective surveys that they wished they had more time for the Scratch programs they provided. This may prove to be an opportunity to consider new methods of building series programs in libraries and to consider ways for providing young people continued chances to work on technology projects outside of a specific library learning/program environment

Data collected as a part of the Media Mashup project provides a great deal of insight into ways in which libraries and community based organizations can work successfully with youth on creating meaningful learning opportunities. Stay tuned for future posts about the findings from the project.

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