Craig has spoken at many American Universities, and has been a guest on National Public Radio as well as a speaker at media conferences across the country. 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 received his PhD from the University of Michigan.
His most recent book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon, 2009), tracks how young people are leading the transition to the digital world via the use of social network sites, mobile devices, and digital media authoring software.
He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Connected Learning Research Network. His work in the network includes leading a team of researchers in a project titled, The Digital Edge—a reference to the growing diversity of young people using social, digital, and mobile media platforms. In addition to conducting an ethnographic study of teens’ participation in diverse digital media cultures the Digital Edge team has spent a year in a Central Texas high school seeking to better understand the challenges that poor-resource schools face in engaging their students and building pathways to social, educational, and occupational opportunities. The Digital Edge is piloting several digital education-based initiatives that explore the connections between youth, design literacy, digital media, and innovation.
- The Impact of Social and Digital Media
How is the widespread adoption and use of digital and social media changing the way we live, learn, play, and work? Virtually every institution from the Papacy to the President of the United States uses social media. What do the use of these technologies say about the evolution of human behavior, social change, and social and civic life?
- The Future of Learning in the Age of Digital Media
In the U.S. roughly 8 of 10 teens now owns a mobile device. In a growing number of cases these devices are faster and more powerful than any computer that was available forty years ago. What are the implications for learning in a world were information and expertise are networked and distributed in unprecedented ways? What kinds of skills, competencies, and dispositions are emerging as critical in the 21st century and how can youth develop these through their use of new media platforms?
- Redesigning Learning
The rise of a knowledge economy and the creative class are remaking our world and our economy. How do we begin to remake our learning institutions in ways that resonate with the shift toward open-source models of learning, making, and innovation?
- The Digital Divide
What are the challenges related to widening social and economic inequality in the U.S.? As the digital divide has shifted from issues related to access to matters related to engagement, participation, and literacy how should communities, schools, and organizations rethink their efforts to create more equitable futures in the world of technology and beyond?