Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and Website/Blog Launched
October 29th, 2009

I’ve been a fan of Mizuko Ito‘s work for a long time, and I was fortunate to be one of the 2008 winners in the MacArthur Foundation/HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition (and a judge in 2009), so I was delighted to hear of the launch of the DML Research Hub. I would have blogged about the launch yesterday, but I was at the Googleplex, attending their Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age conference. I will be blogging for the new site, so I conducted a number of video interviews yesterday and hope to get the first post up today or tomorrow.

Digital media and the Internet are transforming how young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. A newly-created Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the University of California-Irvine will provide an international center to nurture exploration of and build evidence around the impact of digital media on young people’s learning and its potential for transforming education. Funded through a $2.97 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Center was announced today at a national forum at Google headquarters that brought together leading thinkers around the challenge of reasserting American global leadership in education.

“Global digital media are rapidly becoming a driving force in globalization, scientific advances, and the intersection – and sometimes clash – of cultures,” said David Theo Goldberg, director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute and co-director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. “Every day new questions arise about the ability of traditional systems and institutions to prepare both young people and life-long learners for the social, economic and political demands of a complex and networked new century.”

Through study of how youth are using digital media, researchers will seek to understand the implications inherent in how this generation of youth – unlike any previous one – is embracing the online world to access information, socialize, and engage in public life. Research is expected to help schools, libraries, museums and other institutions engaged in teaching and learning better prepare students for the 21st century workforce.

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