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Teen Content Creators: Experiences of Using Information to Learn

From: Library Trends
Volume 60, Number 3, Winter 2012
pp. 569-587 | 10.1353/lib.2012.0001



As access to networked digital communities increases, a growing number of teens participate in digital communities by creating and sharing a variety of content. The affordances of social media—ease of use, ubiquitous access, and communal nature—have made creating and sharing content an appealing process for teens. Teens primarily learn the practices of encountering and using information through social interaction and participation within digital communities. This article adopts the position that information literacy is the experience of using information to learn. It reports on an investigation into teens’ experiences in the United States, as they use information to learn how to create content and participate within the context of social media. Teens that participate in sharing art on sites such as DeviantArt, website creation, blogging, and/or posing edited videos via YouTube and Vimeo, were interviewed. The interviews explored teens’ information experiences within particular social and digital contexts. Teens discussed the information they used, how information was gathered and accessed, and explored the process of using that information to participate in the communities.