My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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MacArthur Competition wrt New Digital Media and Learning

The MacArthur Foundation (the folks who fund my advisors and thus support my research) have just announced an open competition to encourage innovation and knowledge-sharing surrounding new digital media and learning. There are two types of awards:

– Innovation Awards will support learning entrepreneurs and builders of new digital environments for informal learning. Winners will receive $250,000 or $100,000.

– Knowledge Networking Awards will support communicators in connecting, mobilizing, circulating or translating new ideas around digital media and learning. Winners will receive a $30,000 base award and up to $75,000.

If this might be up your alley, check out their announcement and the competition homepage for more information.

Personally, I’m really interested in the knowledge networking awards. This is explicitly to help get knowledge out far and wide, to put theory into practice, and to make practice replicable. This is a great opportunity for educators and journalists and others who want to take what is known to the next level. Too many good ideas get locked down in small experiments or academic articles that few will ever hear of. The more effort there is to scale good ideas, the better we’ll all be! So start brewing some good ideas!

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3 comments to MacArthur Competition wrt New Digital Media and Learning

  • Unless it prejudices your application for an award, I’d be interested (since my work is all about the disconnect between creators of ideas/products and the potential users of them) if you could briefly expand on your statement “Too many good ideas get locked down in small experiments or academic articles that few will ever hear of. ” – Why is this? How does it happen? Do you ahve any examples you could offer.

  • John – academics publish in journals that are often not accessible or legible to outside folks. Lots of projects take place by individual teachers are schools. These are never documented. Lots of stuff goes on that people never see, that isn’t web searchable, and thus people repeat the same mistakes over and over again and don’t learn from the small successes.

  • Ok – so it’s a systemic issue not an attitudinal one. Thanks for the clarification.