Design On The Go: How African American youth use mobiletechnologies for digital content creation

Ronah Harris
2010, Vol. 15, No. 2,


The use of mobile technologies has been proposed forincreasing access and designing innovative educationalactivities. Unfortunately, there is limited data on the currentuses of cellular phones amongst low-income AfricanAmerican youth. In particular, there is little known abouthow this population may design on the rapidly adaptingtechnology, what digital content they create and share viamobile technology. In this exploratory study, I surveyed 103 youths, ages 13-21, and asked about their ownership of cellular phonesand their patterns of use with media, the Internet, as wellas whether they create digital content. The findingsindicate that although these young people use manyforms of technology and media, they are more prone tocreating content such as photographs and share theirwriting through cellular phones than through the Internet.The results of this study may indicate trends in use andthe opportunity to develop and support digital design andcontent on mobile platforms.


mobile, cellular phones, technology, creativity, design

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