Sharing our Community-based findings...
Before Digitally Lit was a known entity, there was the one-year Atlantic Publishers Digital Youth Engagement Strategy (APDYES). Supported through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Literacy and Intelligence Stream, this strategy was guided by four Atlantic Canadian publishers and supported by a doctoral intern from Memorial University and a team of hired consultants. Implicit to APDYES goals meanwhile was the direct engagement of Atlantic Canadian youth. These digital natives were selected and trained to review Atlantic Canadian literature and perform research within and among a variety of social and regional peer networks. To this end, between November 2019 and February 2020, a handful of young researchers were trained in how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, both online and in person.
Below you’ll find just some of the results that justified a new public engagement strategy with digital natives—this time designed to engage the Canadian public in active citizenship through books and the arts in general.
The main focus of my project was how social media affects the connection between Atlantic Canadian youth and our culture. I wanted to know how specific platforms, and the amount of time spent on those platforms, impacted this connection. I was intrigued by the patterns, which suggested that youth using platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, felt more of a connection than those using Tik Tok or YouTube. I also discovered that the youth that spent longer periods of time on social media, had a better sense of connection to our culture, and had posts relating to Atlantic Canada appearing in their feeds more often.
The question that drove my research was, "What defines Atlantic Canadian identity and how do people relate to it?" I collected data between December 2019 and January 2020 from students at my high school. I found out more about the people who make up my community and learned about their connections to home.
I began my research with an interest in how young adults are utilizing online spaces, mainly different social platforms, to either connect with people who have very different spatial identities or with those are share the same spatial identities. I will be using spatial identity to refer to the sense of space, home and identity that we develop as we grow and live in certain regions.
Through my research , I proposed to obtain data that would understand how an educator could engage the youth of Atlantic Canada into the dynamic world of literacy. All of the data was collected by a Google Form. To gather the information I created five questions- three multiple choice and two short response questions. I posted the survey on social media (Twitter and Facebook) and I left it for a week to allow people to complete it. A total of 70 people participated in my survey. Most of the respondents were from Newfoundland but there were a couple of people from other parts of Atlantic Canada. Most of the participants were between the ages of 30-40. This contradicted my original research plan in which I was expecting more people between the ages of 15-30. I noticed that most of the participants were teachers or had a profession in education
My goal was to figure out the patterns of those posting online about books and what sparked someone’s desire to share their reading experience, their opinions about these books, and the pictures of their books in an online, social space.
In this research I wanted to focus on the connections one has to their community, and whether engaging with the local arts has an effect on said connections. Along with a general consensus that such an effect is fairly common, the results also show whether or not the respondents actively seek out this experience by purposefully looking to local literature.