Becky Herr Stephenson

Becky Herr-Stephenson is a Research Fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher with the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

  • Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, Tenth Anniversary Edition

    Kids Living and Learning with New Media

    Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martínez, C. J. Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims, and Lisa Tripp

    The tenth-anniversary edition of a foundational text in digital media and learning, examining new media practices that range from podcasting to online romantic breakups.

    Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, first published in 2009, has become a foundational text in the field of digital media and learning. Reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people live and learn with new media in varied settings—at home, in after-school programs, and in online spaces—it presents a flexible and useful framework for understanding the ways that young people engage with and through online platforms: hanging out, messing around, and geeking out, otherwise known as HOMAGO.

    Integrating twenty-three case studies—which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music sharing, and online romantic breakups—in a unique collaborative authorship style, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out combines in-depth descriptions of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis. Since its original publication, digital learning labs in libraries and museums around the country have been designed around the HOMAGO mode and educators have created HOMAGO guidebooks and toolkits. This tenth-anniversary edition features a new introduction by Mizuko Ito and Heather Horst that discusses how digital youth culture evolved in the intervening decade, and looks at how HOMAGO has been put into practice.

    This book was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Digital Media and Technology in Afterschool Programs, Libraries, and Museums

    Digital Media and Technology in Afterschool Programs, Libraries, and Museums

    Becky Herr Stephenson, Diana Rhoten, Dan Perkel, and Christo Sims

    An investigation of how three kinds of youth organizations have integrated digital practices into their programs.

    Digital media and technology have become culturally and economically powerful parts of contemporary middle-class American childhoods. Immersed in various forms of digital media as well as mobile and Web-based technologies, young people today appear to develop knowledge and skills through participation in media. This MacArthur Report examines the ways in which afterschool programs, libraries, and museums use digital media to support extracurricular learning. It investigates how these three varieties of youth-serving organizations have incorporated technological infrastructure and digital practices into their programs; what types of participation and learning digital practices support; and how research in digital media and learning can contribute to better integration of technology within and across these organizations. The authors review a range of programs (including the long-running Computer Clubhouse movement, established in 1993 in partnership with MIT's Media Lab), and then use the idea of “media ecologies” to investigate the role that digital media play (or could play) in these “intermediary spaces for learning.” They call for less anecdotal, more empirical and methodologically sound studies to help us understand the affordances of digital media for learning within and across these programs; for research focused on the relationship between digital media and the effectiveness of youth-serving organizations; and for further study of schools within childhood media ecologies.

    • Paperback $3.75 £3.99
  • Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out

    Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out

    Kids Living and Learning with New Media

    Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martínez, C. J. Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims, and Lisa Tripp

    An examination of young people's everyday new media practices—including video-game playing, text-messaging, digital media production, and social media use.

    Conventional wisdom about young people's use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today's teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networking sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youths' social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after-school programs, and in online spaces.

    Integrating twenty-three case studies—which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music sharing, and online romantic breakups—in a unique collaborative authorship style, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out is distinctive for its combination of in-depth description of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis.

    • Hardcover $37.00 £25.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Living and Learning with New Media

    Living and Learning with New Media

    Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project

    Mizuko Ito, Heather A. Horst, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Becky Herr Stephenson, Patricia G. Lange, C. J. Pascoe, and Laura Robinson

    This report summarizes the results of an ambitious three-year ethnographic study, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. It offers a condensed version of a longer treatment provided in the book Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (MIT Press, 2009). The authors present empirical data on new media in the lives of American youth in order to reflect upon the relationship between new media and learning. In one of the largest qualitative and ethnographic studies of American youth culture, the authors view the relationship of youth and new media not simply in terms of technology trends but situated within the broader structural conditions of childhood and the negotiations with adults that frame the experience of youth in the United States.

    The book that this report summarizes was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

    John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Reports on Digital Media and Learning

    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99