Global Competition Selects 19 Innovative Digital Media and Learning Projects to Share $2 Million
Chicago, IL, April 16, 2009 — Nineteen projects from around the world were awarded funding today to explore digital media’s ability to help people learn. In a $2 million competition funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, winners include a radically affordable $12 TV-computer, a video blogging site for young women in Mumbai, India, and a cutting-edge mobile phone application that lets children conduct digital wildlife spotting and share that information with friends. Other winners include:
Tecno.Tzotzil, a project that leverages low-cost laptops to help indigenous children in Chiapas, Mexico learn by producing and sharing their own media creations;
Digital Ocean, an online platform for 200 classrooms around the world that allows young people to monitor, analyze, and share information about the declining global fish population;
Voces Móviles (Mobile Voices), a low-cost, mobile, multimedia platform that lets low-wage immigrant day laborers in Los Angeles share, create, and publish multimedia stories to become citizen journalists; and
M-Ubuntu (“I am because we are” in Zulu), a project that uses inexpensive mobile phone technologies to connect teachers in South Africa to each other and to teachers in the United States.
“This open competition makes an important contribution to the emerging field of digital media and learning by seeking out and embracing the freshest of ideas and the most innovative thinking,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton, addressing Competition winners at an event showcasing projects produced through last year’s competition. “The Competition demonstrates that pioneering work often takes place at the edges and sometimes between the most unlikely of collaborators. These projects are true exemplars of how digital media are transforming the way we think and learn, and perhaps even how we participate in our democracy.”
The Competition is funded by a MacArthur grant to the University of California, Irvine, and to Duke University and is administered by the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), a virtual network of learning institutions. The Competition is part of MacArthur’s $50 million digital media and learning initiative designed to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.