HASTAC

2010 Digital Media and Learning Competition

Jane Park, December 17th, 2009

HASTAC’s third annual Digital Media and Learning Competition launched yesterday, an initiative supported by the MacArthur Foundation. Last year‘s theme was participatory learning, and CC Learn was awarded a grant for Student Journalism 2.0—a pilot initiative “engaging high school students in understanding the legal and technical issues intrinsic to new and evolving journalistic practices.” The pilot, by the way, is in full swing, and we are entering our second semester after the holidays. Check out sj.creativecommons.org for updates.

This year’s DMLC theme is “Competition is Reimagining Learning and there are two types of awards: 21st Century Learning Lab Designers and Game Changers.” From the announcement,

“Aligned with National Lab Day as part of the White House’s Educate to Innovate Initiative, the 21st Century Learning Lab Designer awards will range from $30,000-$200,000. Awards will be made for learning environments and digital media-based experiences that allow young people to grapple with social challenges through activities based on the social nature, contexts, and ideas of science, technology, engineering and math.”

For more or to apply, see dmlcompetition.net. The winning products and/or programs in the 21st Century Learning Lab Designers category will be licensed CC BY-NC-SA or be available as Open Source.

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The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age

Jane Park, June 26th, 2009

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) announced a new report called, “The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age,” now available at MIT Press. The report is in response to our changing times, and addresses what traditional educational institutions must know to keep up. From the announcement,

“Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg in an abridged version of their book-in-progress, The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, argue that traditional institutions must adapt or risk a growing mismatch between how they teach and how this new generation learns. Forms and models of learning have evolved quickly and in fundamentally new directions. Yet how we teach, where we teach, who teaches, and who administers and serves have changed only around the edges. This report was made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in connection with its grant making initiative on Digital Media and Learning.”

A central finding was that “Universities must recognize this new way of learning and adapt or risk becoming obsolete. The university model of teaching and learning relies on a hierarchy of expertise, disciplinary divides, restricted admission to those considered worthy, and a focused, solitary area of expertise. However, with participatory learning and digital media, these conventional modes of authority break down.”

Not coincidentally, one of the ten principles for redesigning learning institutions was open source education: “Traditional learning environments convey knowledge via overwhelmingly copyright-protected publications. Networked learning, contrastingly, is an “open source” culture that seeks to share openly and freely in both creating and distributing knowledge and products.”

The report is available in PDF via CC BY-NC-ND.

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Student Journalism 2.0

Jane Park, April 16th, 2009

Never has it become more plainly evident that the old model of news reporting—reporting via professional print media to the people—is crumbling, as one by one newspapers across the country shut down. We can lament these long-standing institutions, wax poetic for the “good old days”, or we can actually do something about it.

The solution is not to throw money at the problem, because money doesn’t force people to read what they don’t want to. The solution is to engage actively with the new forms of media out there, and to explore why the web and “new” media are replacing print news. Where does it all start, and what are the advantages of web journalism?

The MacArthur Foundation in partnership with HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) has awarded $2 million to nineteen projects spanning the globe and innovations in digital media and learning. One of these projects is Student Journalism 2.0, spearheaded by ccLearn. From the competition website,

“For journalism students, the digital age requires more than hands-on reporting, writing, and publication of stories. Students must also embrace the capabilities of the Internet for virtual collaboration, viral dissemination, and feedback loops that inform and deepen original stories. All of these web-based opportunities depend on knowledge and proactive application of open content licensing, such as with Creative Commons, and appropriate metatags and technical formats. Student Journalism 2.0 engages high school students in understanding legal and technical issues intrinsic to new journalistic practices. The lessons learned during this pilot project will be documented in anticipation of a national-scale, follow-up project.”

ccLearn’s Executive Director, Ahrash Bissell, is currently accepting the grant in Chicago at the awards ceremony and the projects showcase of last year’s Digital Media and Learning Competition winners. The event runs through tomorrow, and you can read the full press release here.

We wrote the proposal sometime last year, got enmeshed in the daily grind of other projects and work, and forgot about it. Spring brought fantastic news, and we would like to give our greatest thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, HASTAC, and everyone else involved in making this possible. We will keep you posted as the project develops. For now, you can read the original project proposal at the ccLearn site, licensed CC BY, of course.

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