S. Craig Watkins

S. Craig Watkins

Air Date: May 15, 2013

S. Craig Watkins: The Young and the Digital

Radio, Television and Film

Craig Watkins is an Associate Professor of Radio, Television and Film at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the effects of technology on young people. In his most recent book, The Young and the Digital, Professor Watkins outlined the ways engagement with social media, games, and mobile phones is transforming the way young people encounter the world.

On this episode of Game Changers, Professor Watkins explains how technology can be used to create opportunities for young people in the classroom.


About S. Craig Watkins

S. Craig Watkins studies young people's social and digital media behaviors. He teaches at the University of Texas, Austin, in the departments of Radio-Television-Film, Sociology, and the Center for African and African American Studies.  Craig is also a Faculty Fellow for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and a Global Fellow for the IC2 at the University of Texas at Austin.  He received his PhD from the University of Michigan.

His book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty-somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates.  The Young and the Digital explores young people's dynamic engagement with social media, games, mobile phones, and communities like Facebook.

His other books include Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement (Beacon Press 2005), and Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema (The University of Chicago Press 1998).

Addressing issues that range from the social impacts of young people's participation in digital media culture to the educational implications, Craig has engaged a dynamic mix of communities.  Among them: the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Drug Addiction, IBM Center for Social Software, SXSW Interactive, the National School Boards Association, Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity, the Austin Forum on Science and Technology for Society, iCivics, MacArthur Foundation, and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (NYC).  He also blogs for the Huffington Post and DML Central, the online presence for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the systemwide University of California Humanities Research Institute and hosted at the UC Irvine campus.

He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's research network on Connected Learning.  Among other things his work in the network will include leading a team of researchers in an ethnographic study of teens and their participation in diverse digital media cultures and communities.  Craig is also developing a project that looks at the connection between youth, digital media, learning innovation, and civic engagement.  Finally, he is conducting a series of case studies that examine how educators are using social, digital, and mobile media to design the future of learning.

For updates on these and other projects visit his website, theyoungandthedigital.com.