Total Awarded: $12 Million
Total Grants: 85
Duration: 2005 - Present
Geographic Focus: Mostly in the United States
The increased availability and accessibility of digital media have changed the ways in which young people learn, socialize, play, and engage in civic life. Seeking to understand how learning environments and institutions should transform to respond to these changes, the MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation) launched the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Initiative. The DML Competition (the Competition), one component of the DML Initiative, identifies innovators and invests in prototypes of games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, social networks, digital badge platforms, and more in support of connected learning. The Competition completed four cycles between 2007 and 2014, awarding individuals, universities, for-profit organizations, and nonprofit organizations.
The evaluation of the DML competition was conducted by Informing Change. Their evaluation focused on the Competition’s goals, processes, and perceived impacts on awardees, awarded projects, the DML landscape, and the Foundation. Along with site visits and a review of relevant Competition and grantee documents, the mixed-methods evaluation incorporated interview and survey data collected from Foundation staff, Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) staff who implemented the Competition, Competition awardees and finalists, and key field leaders.
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