Making Access Meaningful: Latino Young People Using Digital Media at Home and at School



Through case studies of 2 working-class Latino middle school students (ages 12 and 14), we examine how the young people negotiated economic and cultural barriers to digital media and mobilized opportunities to use media in pursuit of their own interests. For the young people in our study, school assignments offered opportunities to use digital media tools and become ‘content creators.’ However, the nature of the assignments and the restrictions placed on technology use in the classroom stood in contrast to the interests that motivated the teens' participation in popular media culture outside of school. We argue that this disconnect limited the potential of media production assignments to connect to student interests and provide youth with meaningful access to new technology.