The Digital Youth Network (DYN) was founded in 2006 by Dr. Nichole Pinkard at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute. DYN is a project that supports organizations, educators and researchers in learning best practices to help develop our youths’ technical, creative, and analytical skills. Originating from the keen desire to understand and support urban youth in learning digital media for their educational development, DYN grew as a resource to help youth understand how to use digital media for all aspects of their lives. As technology rapidly evolves, supporting our underprivileged youth in school and out of the classroom has become a critical and timely issue to address. In an effort to resolve these conditions, they have created iRemix social learning network for students in formal and informal settings; Co-founded YOUmedia – along with the Chicago Public Library – to develop innovative spaces for youth; and implemented Chicago City of Learning – with Chicago’s Mayor’s Office – to join together learning opportunities for youth. Their goal is to create an equal platform for ALL to be digitally literate.
Nichole Pinkard from New Learning Institute on Vimeo.
As a DYN mentor, Brother Mike worked across media, from spoken word to radio to graphic design. Most notably he helped develop a multi-media arts class called “iRemix Records,” in which sixth-grade students analyzed and critiqued the music industry while learning how to create their own music. Brother Mike was the creator of such projects as Change Society, which engages students in media creation with a focus on civic engagement, and Lyricist Loft, which provides a pathway for students to showcase their work to a public audience.