Supported by a grant to the University of California at Irvine, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a $2 million open competition for ideas to transform learning using digital media.
The competition was planned and announced in partnership with National Lab Day, a movement to revitalize science, technology, engineering and math in schools that was highlighted at a recent White House event.
The competition seeks designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others to build digital media experiences that help young people interact, share and explore in new and innovative ways.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), in cooperation with the Entertainment Software Association and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, will team with MacArthur to support Game Changers, a new component of the competition. Game Changers will provide awards for the creation of new game experiences using PlayStation’s popular video game, LittleBigPlanet. SCEA will also donate 1,000 PlayStation3 systems and copies of the LittleBigPlanet game to libraries and community-based organizations in low-income communities.
"MacArthur is pleased to team with Sony and National Lab Day to encourage the next generation of innovators to focus on science, technology, engineering and math," said Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s director of education. "Digital media, including games, are the learning labs of the future and this open competition encourages people to consider creative new ways to use digital media to create learning environments that are engaging, immersive and participatory." said Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s director of education.
The competition is designed to promote "participatory learning," a form of learning connected to individual interests and passions, inherently social in nature, and occurring during hands-on, creative activities, which is increasingly online.
Awards will be made in two categories: 21st Century Learning Lab Designers and Game Changers and winners will join an existing community of 36 awardees from 2007 and 2008.