“But our children don’t think about how they can be inventors and creators and producers of new technologies, new ways of learning, and I don’t think they realize the power they have to advocate for change and build new policies.
I hope that we can enable them so that they can change the way that they learn to the ways that they want to learn.”
– Rane Johnson Stempson, Microsoft Research
Policy is driven by data, by research, by people’s behavior, wants and needs. Policy drives decision-making and funding. But the gaps between research, policy, and practice remain wide.
In our interviews and discussions, we found several major themes:
- A large span exists between policy and research. A major effort is needed across researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to establish shared understandings and work for improved collaboration across the field.
- There is an urgent need for the creation and dissemination of policy materials. In particular, there is a need for evidence-based statements on the importance and role of libraries and librarians in supporting digital youth.
- Policy implications are unfortunately not always well thought out. Practitioners are sometimes charged with implementing seemingly simple policies that have larger, and more long-term implications than originally thought.