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Natural Awakenings National

Social Web: Teens Learn Social Skills Online

A three-year digital youth project study of 800 young people and their parents, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, shows that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online—often in ways adults do not understand or value. The research confirms that young people are learning much from their peers online using new kinds of public spaces, such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube, to interact and receive feedback. They appear more motivated to learn from each other than from adults.

The study, conducted by the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley, also found that most youths are not taking full advantage of the learning opportunities of the Internet.

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