The Aprendiendo Juntos (Learning Together) Council is a multi-sector group of researchers, practitioners, media producers, and policy experts who seek to identify new models and practical strategies to improve educational outcomes for Hispanic-Latino families through the wise deployment of digital technologies. The Council utilizes its diverse composition to translate cutting-edge research in order to influence public and private sector investments in programs and practices that work.
Following the June 2012 Hispanic-Latino Families and Digital Technologies Forum hosted by the National Center for Families Learning, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, and the National Council of La Raza, a core group of forum participants conceived of the council to be able to continue their conversations on the important issues raised at the event. The AJC has since hosted three working meetings (April 2013, February 2014, and August 2015), at which council members have set national research agendas and conceived of new research to move these agendas forward. The AJC now comprises members spanning diverse fields, including (but not limited to) representatives from PBS KIDS Digital, Nickelodeon, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Northwestern University, NBC Universo, and the Pew Hispanic Center. Since 2013, council members have set up partnerships, raised funds, conducted needed research, and published a set of influential papers on their findings (see below).
The aim of the research conducted by the AJC—in collaboration with its expert practitioners, media producers, and policy experts—is to inform the design of more thoughtful, more inclusive, and more effective media products and programs serving Hispanic-Latino families. Thus far, these efforts have included Dr. Vikki Katz’s (Rutgers) study of the implementation of the Connect2Compete program with 170 Hispanic-Latino families in Tucson, AZ, Chula Vista, CA, and Denver, CO. Researchers at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Arizona State University, and Stanford University have conducted field studies of families with young children living in New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco to understand the evolving roles that media are playing in family life and across the diverse demographics covered by the “Hispanic-Latino” monolith.
The AJC has also played a significant role in vetting and distributing publications authored by its members to help ensure that their findings reach the hands of practitioners eager to learn from such knowledge. In 2015, the Council released three publications, each tackling issues related to Hispanic families, digital media, and learning from different angles: Aprendiendo en casa reveals findings from a national survey of parents (Lee & Barron, 2015); Connecting to Learn aims to improve digital equity among low-income Hispanic families through national policies; and Digital Media and Latino Families takes a close look at the implications of the proliferation of new technologies for family and community relationships.
What it means to be an Aprendiendo Juntos Council Member
Scholars, educators, philanthropists, policymakers, and other practitioners dedicated to the goals set forth above participate in the ongoing activities of the AJC, including:
- Gathering annually to learn about each other’s work, to build new partnerships and ideas, and continue to refine our research agenda.
- Participating in quarterly video conferences to share common instruments, receive feedback on data analyses in progress, and keep apprised of one another’s activities and accomplishments.
- Helping to identify gaps in the research on Latino families and digital media and set national agendas to address these gaps, which members may decide to pursue.
- Growing our national network of likeminded scholars and practitioners by promoting the AJC’s activities and products.
Core AJC members support the efforts of the larger Council by:
- Facilitating collaboration and conversation among members by providing the forums and mechanisms to do so (annual and quarterly meetings, listservs, working sites).
- Enabling the research-practice pipeline by operating as a dissemination body that can help researchers get their work into the hands of practitioners and policymakers.
- Seeking funds to fulfill the above purposes and involve/invite members to help pursue and participate in these funding opportunities.
Aprendiendo Juntos Council Institutions
|Arizona State University
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
California State University, San Marcos
Chula Vista School District
Common Sense Media
Florida State University
Harvard Family Research Project
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Joan Ganz Cooney Center
National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)
National Council of La Raza
New York University
Pew Hispanic Center
UC San Diego
University of Texas, Austin
University of Washington, Seattle
White House Commission for Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The following Aprendiendo Juntos Council reports are available for free download on the Cooney Center’s website.
- Aprendiendo juntos: Synthesis of a cross-sectorial convening on Hispanic-Latino families and digital technologies
A forum report by Sarah Vaala, PhD, February 2013
- Connecting to learn: Promoting digital equity for America’s families
A policy brief Michael H. Levine & Vikki Katz, February 2015
- Digital media and Latino families: New channels for learning, parenting, and local organizing
A review of the literature by Bruce Fuller, Jose Ramon Lizarraga, & James Gray, February 2015
- Aprendiendo en casa: Media as a learning tool among Hispanic-Latino families
A research report by June Lee and Brigid Barron, February 2015