A University of California, Berkeley, professor is spearheading a team just awarded $3.3 million to study "digital kids." The study will document how youth from ages 10 to 20 are using new digital media to create and exchange knowledge, assess how these phenomena affect learning, and encourage use of its conclusions for the improvement of schools.
Principal investigators include anthropologist Mizuko Ito, who has studied youths' use of digital media in the United States and Japan.
Half of the ethnographic study's research sites will be online and include the use of blogs, new online play sites such as Neopets and online games. The other half will include sites like libraries, community centers, game centers and after-school programs that have digital media. >> continue
UPDATE: Judd Antin (University of California Berkeley!) has more information. He writes - among others: "There is practically no research on how youth in the United States use, perceive, and value ICTs. It’s a gigantic gap. We aim to fill it. (..) Educational technology has been stagnant since about 1990. There have been practically no new developments in teaching software. Through our study we hope to provide the ammunition to develop educational software that works, and which capitalizes on the new, digital, networked environment in which many kids are growing up. >> continue
He also points to the research project's homepage