The Digital Civics Toolkit draws on the research and work of the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP). The YPP Network formed out of the recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors. The YPP Network is working to understand youth engagement in participatory politics, the developmental pathways that can lead to engagement, and the ways in which youth can be politically active in the digital age.


Erica Hodgin is the Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at University of California, Riverside and the Research Director of the Educating for Participatory Politics project -- an action group of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP). She is also Co-Principal Investigator with Joe Kahne of Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age – a district-wide civic education effort in partnership with Oakland Unified School District and the National Writing Project. Her current research focuses on the educational implications of youth civic and political engagement in the digital age.

Carrie James is a Research Associate and a Principal Investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research explores the digital, civic, and moral dimensions of young people’s lives. Carrie co-directs the Good Play Project - an initiative focused on ethical issues in the digital age - and the Good Participation Project, which is part of MacArthur’s Youth and Participatory Politics research network. Carrie also co-directs Out of Eden Learn, an online learning community and educational companion to journalist Paul Salopek’s epic Out of Eden walk. She is a Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a recurring faculty member at Project Zero’s institutes for educators. She holds an M.A. (1996) and a Ph.D. (2003) in Sociology from New York University.

Sangita Shresthova is the Director of Resarch at the Civic Imagination Project - @CivicPaths - based at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California. Her work focuses on the intersection between popular culture, performance, new media, politics, and globalization. She is one of the authors of By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism published by NYU in 2016.  Her earlier book on Bollywood dance and globalization (Is It All About Hips?) was published by SAGE Publications.. Her recent research has focused on the civic imagination as an approach that helps us imagine alternatives to current cultural, social, political, or economic conditions.

Special Thanks: We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support. We would also like to thank our colleagues on the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network and the Educating for Participatory Politics advisory group.

© 2018 by the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics

Students explore their identities and communities, identify civic issues that matter to them, and consider how they might use digital media for civic participation.

Students work to understand and analyze civic information online, and consider what information they

can trust.

Students navigate diverse perspectives and exchange ideas about civic issues in our inter-connected world .

Students consider how, when and to what end they can create, remix and otherwise re-purpose content that they share with others in online spaces.

Students consider a broad range of tactics and strategies for acting on civic issues.