MacArthur donates $50mn to study digital media impact on kids

The five year project will investigate how a myriad of new-media technologies, from video games to social networking web sites, can be used to help students learn.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to give $50 million to study the impact of digital media on student learning, eSchoolNews reports. The five year project will investigate how a myriad of new-media technologies, from video games to social networking web sites, can be used to help students learn.

"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," Macarthur president Jonathan Fanton said. "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?"

In addition, MacArthur will donate $2 million a year toward research projects intended to explore the influence and impact of digital media on today's youth.

A new online website will serve as a portal for information about digital media on education.

To stimulate the national conversation around digital learning, the foundation plans to publish six books, both online and in print, meant to examine leading research in the field. Topics reportedly will include credibility, innovative uses and unexpected outcomes, civic engagement, the ecology of games, race and ethnicity, and identity and digital media.

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