[NetBehaviour] The MacArthur Foundation's Digital Drive.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Nov 10 09:29:38 CET 2006

The MacArthur Foundation's Digital Drive.

The nonprofit institution has launched a five-year initiative to study 
online culture and media literacy, and its impact on modern youth.

by Aili McConnon.

The world is in the middle of a seismic societal shift. Young people 
actively produce much more content—digital and otherwise—than previous 
generations, who were more passive in their consumption of 
commercially-generated media. One in 100 adults online create a blog or 
personal Web page or share artwork, photos, stories, or videos. Yet more 
than half of online teens regularly create such content, according to 
recent research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

For this reason, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 
recently launched a $50 million, five-year initiative to investigate how 
and why young people—who have been bathed in bits and bytes since 
birth—use the Web, computer games, cell phones, and other gadgets to 
learn, play, and communicate.

"It's clear that for many, the richest environment for learning is no 
longer inside the classroom but…online and after school," said MacArthur 
Foundation President Jonathan Fanton at the launch of the Digital Media 
& Learning Initiative at the end of October (the press conference was, 
appropriately, also streamed in real time in the Second Life virtual 
world). "That's our opening hypothesis. We believe there's a new 
interdisciplinary cross-sector in the making, and MacArthur wants to 
build and support this field of digital media and learning."


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list