Join the CoP to see the resources in this area.


Foundational Research informs the work at YOUmedia sites across the country, providing a shared understanding of how to engage youth in informal learning opportunities.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (2009) by Mizuko Ito is an examination of young people's everyday new media practices--including video-game playing, text-messaging, digital media production, and social media use.

The Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums: Transformative Spaces for Teens Report (2014) highlights the findings and impacts of three years of IMLS/MacArthur funding, from its beginnings in Mizuko (Mimi) Ito’s research of young people’s media practices in everyday settings as an anthropology professor at the University of California, Irvine, to collective outcomes, institutional transformation, and expansive learning ecosystems that have emerged and continue to grow as a result of this initiative.

The Connected Learning Alliance shares findings through webinars, case studies, white papers, and infographics.  The learning approach is designed for the demands and opportunities of the digital age.

The DML Research Hub offers practical ways to implement research around Connected Learning, including the Connected Learning Research Network, information about the annual DML conference, and a series of related publications.

Overview of the development of early Learning Labs: 

Penny Bender Sebring, Eric R. Brown, Kate M. Julian, Stacy B. Ehrlich, Susan E. Sporte, Erin Bradley, and Lisa Meyer (2013).Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library. Chicago: Consortium on Chicago School Research, University of Chicago. 

Kiley Larson, Mizuko Ito, Eric Brown, Mike Hawkins, Nichole Pinkard, and Penny Sebring (2013). Safe Space and Shared Interests: YOUmedia Chicago as a Laboratory for Connected Learning. In Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library.Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, Irvine, CA. 

Mizuko Ito, Kris Gutiérrez, Sonia Livingstone, Bill Penuel, Jean Rhodes, Katie Salen, Juliet Schor, Julian Sefton-Green, and S. Craig Watkins (2013). Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design. Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, Irvine, CA. 


Related Organizations support the work of the YOUmedia Network.

Association of Science and Technology Centers is a global organization providing collective voice, professional support, and programming opportunities for science centers, museums, and related institutions, whose innovative approaches to science learning inspire people of all ages about the wonders and the meaning of science in their lives.  Through strategic alliances and global partnerships, ASTC strives to increase awareness of the valuable contributions its members make to their communities and the field of informal STEM learning.

National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners.

LRNG is a movement that closes the opportunity gap and transforms how young people access and experience learning and the paths they can take to success.

Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal funding for the nation's libraries and museums.  It aims to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.  They offer clear definitions of 21st century skills.


Mentorship is a key component of a YOUmedia Learning Lab.

The Mentoring Effect is the result of a national survey of young people's perspectives on the outcomes and availability of mentoring.

Ethical Principles for Youth Mentoring Relationships is published by the National Mentoring Partnership and lays out five guiding principles for ethical behavior in a youth mentoring relationship.

Principles of Youth Development outlines the assets that promote positive youth development and the features of Positive Developmental Settings.

National Council of Young Leaders published a policy document entitled Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America.  The document lays out principles for action that include Love and Inclusion and primary immediate recommendations that include an increase in all forms of mentoring.


Books & Resources that inspired or informed practice across the YOUmedia Network.

What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee

Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty by Paul Gorski 

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Digital Promise Research Map shows connections between different educational research, and can help in finding new resources for program design or grant proposals.


image courtesy of the Lawrence Hall of Science's TechHive