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Co-designing Playlists, XPs, and Badges with Youth

 Co-designing Playlists, XPs, and Badges with Youth

Over the last two months, the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society has been facilitating a set of co-design workshops on Digital Citizenship in collaboration with youth from the Boston metropolitan area. Using a design thinking approach, through these workshops we have been able to create, with youth, four playlists that address four broad themes: my digital self, authorship, careers, and advocacy. From identifying a potential audience to re-defining the themes and goals of each playlist, to prototyping and playtesting learning experiences (XPs), the workshops have allowed us to engage in an agile co-design process with local youth.

Exploration of themes and defining playlist's audience

At each of the four local youth-serving organizations that partnered with us, we co-hosted two workshops and joined forces with a motivated group of young co-designers (13-18 years old). The first workshop at each site consisted of several exercises that touched upon elements of the design thinking process, such as empathizing, defining, and ideation. More specifically, youth co-designers created empathy maps to identify the potential audience for their assigned playlist, interviewed each other using questions corresponding to their playlist theme, and brainstormed playlist-related skills they would like to learn.

The first set of workshops produced rich and diverse outcomes. Youth co-designers developed multiples ideas for playlist themes and identified several potential audiences. Since co-designers worked in groups of 2 and 3 during the workshop, we generated several empathy maps (personas/ideal audience maps) as well as different answers to questions about the broad playlist themes, related skills and interests, and ideas for learning activities. After discussing these ideas with the groups of co-designers and analyzing the data, the Youth and Media team worked on identifying patterns for re-defining the themes and describing the playlist audience.

The group of co-designers from Phillips Academy Andover re-defined the theme of "my digital self" around issues of online privacy and surveillance, placing special emphasis on the relation of personal data online and one’s digital reputation. The audience for this playlist are media savvy, college-oriented high school students interested in policy and digital rights.