Webcast: What Kids Learn When They Create with Digital Media

January 12, 2010

Courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation YouTube channel . . .  This forum, entitled “The Power of Youth Voice,” brought together experts in digital media and learning to share their research and experiences using digital media in and outside of the classroom. …


Do you play Spore or Little Big Planet? Friend me!

January 11, 2010

Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation’s collaboration with EA and Sony for the Digital Media and Learning Competition, I have been learning more about the games Little Big Planet (on PlayStation3) and Spore: Galactic Adventures (on Macintosh/Windows). I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to play them (of course) but I have been dipping my toe in the water. In Spore I have graduated from the primordial ooze on up to “creature stage,” and in LBP I have been exploring The Savannah and unlocked the tools to make my own “level” in the game. Being the social network junkie that I am, one of the features I tend to check out first are the profiles and friends. But sadly, I don’t have any friends on either network!


Better mental health through video gaming

January 6, 2010

McGill research team sees possibility of training brain to react differently BY SHANNON PROUDFOOT, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE JANUARY 6, 2010 **Reblogged from The Ottawa Citizen, http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Better+mental+health+through+video+gaming/2409983/story.html** Video games already provide entertainment and diversion, but they may soon boost self-esteem and improve mental health. Based on knowledge that many of our reactions to life’s stresses happen in a split-second and often without our awareness, Mark Baldwin’s team at McGill University in Montreal started wondering whether they could program people’s brains to react differently. “All we did was say, ‘OK, can we train it?’ And once you ask the question, you kind of think, ‘Why not?’ ” the psychology professor says. “You can train anything else. You can train a golf swing, you can train arithmetic skills through practice and


Lessons Learned from 10 former Digital Media and Learning Competition award winners

January 5, 2010

Today, over at HASTAC.org, former Digital Media and Learning Competition Young Innovator award winner Daniel Poynter (Digital Democracy Contest) posted a selection of interviews that he taped with various 2008 Digital Media and Learning Competition award winners at last year’s winner’s event. Check them out to learn what lessons former Digital Media and Learning Competition winners wish they had known before embarking on their journeys (and some things that you might want to consider when developing your applications). Reblogged from “Lessons Learned from 10 DML Winners” The Digital Media and Learning Competition is all about learning. How do digital environments change learning? What do “innovators” in this field learn from their experiments? At the DML ceremony in Chicago April 17, 2009 the Digital Democracy Contest and GNIC team


Competition timeline extended by a week–application system to open January 15

January 4, 2010

Happy New Year! Here at Digital Media and Learning Competition headquarters, we are increasingly excited as the opening of the online application system draws closer. We can’t wait to see the ideas that you have percolating and the many innovative ways you are reimagining learning! To give you some additional time to shine up those initial applications and get them ready for prime-time, we are happy to announce that we have extended the Competition timeline by one week. This means that  the online application system will now open and begin accepting applications on January 15th.  The due date for preliminary applications has been extended until January 22nd, while resubmitted final first round applications (taking into consideration any public feedback/comments received)  will be due no later than February 15th.


Playing LBP with my 3rd Grader

December 22, 2009

One day last week my third grader got out of school early due to winter weather. I brought her into work with me, and down to Ruby’s office where she got to play LittleBigPlanet (LBP) on the HASTAC research PlayStation3. She’d never played on a PlayStation before–her only gaming experience was with the Wii and some American Girl and PopTropica games on the internet. It was interesting for me to watch her learn and play. It was fun for her to play a game she’d heard about from a bunch of her (boy) friends. (In fact, she only has one girl friend who she knows plays on a PS–and she has an older brother.) We talked together about the experience, below. I’m “M” (me) and she’s “D” (daughter).


2010 competition kicks off, featuring The White House, Sony, EA, and YOU

December 16, 2009

Today HASTAC re-launched the website for the Digital Media and Learning Competition (dmlcompetition.net) with the long-awaited details of the 2010 Competition! This competition builds on two successful years of supporting projects that advance and DO participatory learning. Each year, the competition addresses different themes. In 2008, 17 projects won Innovation or Knowledge-Networking Awards. In 2009, 19 projects won Innovation or Young Innovators awards. This year’s theme is Reimagining Learning and has brought some exciting new players to the table. We have been given the opportunity to participate in National Lab Day – part of the White House’s Educate to Innovate Initiative – on our Learning Lab Designers awards. And we’re also collaborating with videogame makers Sony and EA on the Game Changers awards. Another new element of this


Making as learning

December 14, 2009

Originally posted on Cathy N. Davidson’s Cat in the Stack blog on HASTAC.org I’ve been thinking about the ways we learn when we make things and how differerent that experience is from learning in order to answer exam questions (especially multiple choice) about things, subjects, or ideas that other people have made.   What is most different is that, when you make something you learn about failure and from failure.   When you “get the answer wrong,” you fail.   Therein lies all the difference. Whether you are making a robot, a sweater, a poem, a research paper, a mod of a video game, or a donut,  the first time you do it you draw from and build upon a range of similar experiences, some of them successful, some


Tests Hamper Teaching Students to Think Like Einstein

December 11, 2009

by Cathy N. Davidson, Duke University Reblogged from the Durham Herald Sun, December 11, 2009 I often lecture or blog about grading, arguing that the way we now assign grades is an antiquated system that may have worked well for the Industrial Age but that undercuts what is valuable, exciting, or potentially useful for interactive thinking in the Digital Age. I’m often critical of so called “standards-based education” such as No Child Left Behind, with its reduction of evaluation and assessment to standardized testing. But I’m actually criticizing here a much broader way of thinking that reduces the process of thinking to “a result,” even to “the best result chosen from among a select number of choices” (i.e., multiple choice exams). That concept of grading seems the exact


HASTAC Network Joins White House Campaign

December 9, 2009

This piece was reblogged from The Herald Sun, http://heraldsun.com/bookmark/5030564/article-HASTAC — A network of educators and digital innovators is playing a role in the White House campaign to encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The HASTAC network will administer the third-annual Digital Media and Learning Competition. The competition will award $2 million in support of participatory learning experiences that incorporate STEM principles. The competition launches Monday and winners will be announced in spring 2010. HASTAC (an acronym for Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) was founded and is primarily operated at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke and the University of California Humanities Research Institute at the University of California, Irvine. Duke’s Cathy N. Davidson, who co-founded HASTAC with David Theo Goldberg