[NetBehaviour] The MacArthur Foundation's Digital Drive.
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."
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