Youth’s Usage of New Media: Exploring Learning and Identity Formation
This study investigated youth’s usage of new media technologies in and out of school as well as how it relates to learning and identity formation. Even though youth’s usage of new media in school is inferior compared to out of school, it does not mean that both contexts are disconnected. In fact, there is a possible relationship established between both contexts and such connection can prove to be significant for youth’s learning and identity formation. Communities of Practice (COPs) was adopted as the theoretical foundation of the study. The research method employed was case study. Data collection involved six 13 years old students from two secondary schools in Malaysia. They were interviewed, directly observed during classes and tasked to complete a media diary out of school. The findings of the study indicate that, despite the differences in youth’s new media practices in and out of school, relationship exists between both contexts through the multi-membership dimensions of COPs. It was also found that, the experience of participating in different practices in and out of school is significant for youth’s formation of identity. Learning is embedded within youth’s participation in everyday new media practices. Hence, it is important for schools to understand youth’s new media experience and to relate it with classroom learning.