MacArthur Foundation to Commit $50 Million in Digital Media Learning and Research

By Roach, Ronald | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, November 16, 2006 | Go to article overview

MacArthur Foundation to Commit $50 Million in Digital Media Learning and Research


Roach, Ronald, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


NEW YORK

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced late last month that it is committing $50 million over the next five years to support the emerging field of digital media and learning. The foundation will fund research and cutting-edge projects that provide understanding on how the widespread use of digital media affects youth and their learning.

"This is the first generation to grow up digital--coming of age in a world where computers, the Internet, video games and cell phones are common, and where expressing themselves through these tools is the norm," says MacArthur president Jonathan F. Fanton.

"Given how present these technologies are in their lives, do young people act, think and learn differently today? And what are the implications for education and for society? MacArthur will encourage this discussion, fund research, support innovation and engage those who can make judgments about these difficult but critical questions," he says.

The foundation's approach promises to be comprehensive, going beyond the classroom to assess how digital technology may transform youth in their formal and informal learning environments. The research will test the theory that today's youth are different because they use digital tools to learn, play and communicate. …

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