[Last updated: May 2020]

Context: The ability to be aware of, understand, and interpret the contextual factors of relevance (e.g., cultural, social, local/regional/global) in a given situation — with a particular emphasis on the experiences and perspectives of underrepresented groups, whether in terms of age, ethnicity, race, gender and sexual identity, religion, national origin, location, skill and educational level, and/or socioeconomic status — and effectively engage in the situation.

The manner in which youth engage with the digital world depends upon a variety of factors, including their access conditions, prior experiences with digital technologies, and contextual dimensions. Such contextual factors might include gender, age, ethnicity, race, sexual identity, physical availability, geography, religion, socioeconomic status, national origin, and educational attainment. At Yam, we are thus interested in better understanding the Internet and digital technologies access conditions youth are confronted with and further exploring questions such as:

  • What primary digital tools and platforms does a young person use (e.g., tools such as a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device; platforms such as Twitter)?
  • Who is using these technologies (e.g., individual vs. shared family device)?
  • Where are the technologies being used (e.g., at school, at home, on the go)?
  • What underlying purpose are these technologies being used for (e.g., learning, social life, entertainment)?

Against the backdrop of the rapid pace of globalization, technological innovation, and changes in the workforce, our society is becoming increasingly interconnected. Thriving in today’s world requires a breadth of skills that not only include an understanding of how to use digital tools, but how to interact with others leveraging digital technologies. As skills such as communication, collaboration, and cross-cultural competency become increasingly important, it is also essential  that young people develop the capacity to be aware of, understand, and interpret the contextual factors of relevance when engaging with the digital world.

Flagship publication:

  • Youth and Digital Citizenship+ (Plus): Understanding Skills for a Digital World
    • [Pages 40-41] Discusses the importance of taking into account contextual factors (e.g., agre, ethnicity, race, etc.) in how youth engage with digital citizenship efforts.
    • [Page 48] Offers a brief overview of ways youth may be able to approach emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, in ways that take into account the impact of their actions online not only on an individual level, but the broader online community (e.g., taking into account cultural, social, and regional nuances).

Key learning resources:

We are just starting to work on learning resources in this area. If you have created resources in this area or would be interested in exploring collaborative work, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

These learning resources (with the exception of “Creating a Resume”) are available in over 35 languages! To view the translations, for each resource, please scroll down to “All Languages.” Additional languages will be added over time.

Other publications:

Selected presentations:

(For more information, please email Sandra Cortesi.)

February 2020: Keynote, “Well-being in a Digital Age”, Safer Internet Day, Sao Paulo, Brazil [minutes 11:43-14:47]