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Shining a 'Spotlight' on Digital Media & Learning

Written by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
December 07, 2010

It’s inspiring, thought-provoking, mind-bending.  It’s the Spotlight blog from the Digital Media and Learning Initiative at the MacArthur Foundation. From its beginning as a vehicle for sharing news about the initiative and its grantees — including the National Writing Project — through its expansion as a point of conversation for people from diverse fields like gaming, teaching, virtual worlds, and learning sciences, to its current design as a source of information about cutting edge projects in the field, the Spotlight blog has kept pace with the growing field of connected learning.

A recent roundup of stories (recent as of this posting) includes talks with school officials and students in South Africa to see how students are using mobile phones to document their culture ; a look at how students in SmallLab are learning geometry and chemistry with Wii-like hands-on interactions; visits with innovators who are using Scratch, Little Big PlanetGamestar Mechanic, and other platforms to teach kids to be their own game designers and, in doing so, help them absorb critical thinking skills, along with physics, math and engineering basics.

As I am posting this, the homepage features a truly amazing story that takes you—and students—into the Great Bear Rainforest of northern Canada as the Heiltsuk Nation children work with real-time video of wolves playing at the edge of the forest, bears feasting on salmon, a bald eagle up close, and wolves feeding at night.

If you like Digital Is, you’ll love the Spotlight blog.