Note: The information provided here refers to past Digital Media and Learning Competitions, and is provided for archival and reference purposes only. If you are seeking the current Digital Media and Learning Competition, please navigate to dmlcompetition.net
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Digital Media and Learning Competition 2 Awards

The 2nd Digital Media and Learning Competition, administered by HASTAC with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, is designed to advance the field by awarding $2 million in grants to support new projects in two categories: Innovation and Young Innovator.

Read about the 2009 Digital Media and Learning Competition winners here.



COMPETITION THEME: PARTICIPATORY LEARNING

Drawing upon the innovative winning projects from the first Digital Media and Learning Competition, the theme for this year’s Competition is Participatory Learning. There are two award categories: Innovation in Participatory Learning and Young Innovators. All proposals submitted to the Digital Media and Learning Competition, in either category, should be for support of digital projects that engage participatory learning in an integral way.

Participatory Learning includes the ways in which new technologies enable learners (of any age) to contribute in diverse ways to individual and shared learning goals. Through games, wikis, blogs, virtual environments, social network sites, cell phones, mobile devices, and other digital platforms, learners can participate in virtual communities where they share ideas, comment upon one another's projects, and plan, design, advance, implement, or simply discuss their goals and ideas together. Participatory learners come together to aggregate their ideas and experiences in a way that makes the whole ultimately greater than the sum of the parts.

For example, participatory learners might create a viral system for educating one another about environmental issues in their own neighborhoods and sharing and comparing their findings with others halfway across the globe. Or they might develop inventive extra-curricular science projects together online. Participatory learners are pioneering new ways of combining learning and social life, whether "social life" denotes peer group popular culture, informal learning, or some innovative combination.

The Digital Media and Learning Competition seeks to identify and promote individuals and institutions taking advantage of digital or new media and using these technologies as platforms for new kinds of participatory learning. Participatory learning should be the primary goal in all proposals; the technological approach should advance the learning objective. The most competitive proposals will enable participatory learning by promoting the possibility of scalable, many-to-many interactive learning activities. Awarded projects will be deeply collaborative in their structure, design, and motivation.

A total of $2 million will be awarded for the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

Innovation and Participatory Learning awards will range from $30,000 to $250,000, with up to $1.8 million awarded in total. Young Innovator awards will range from $5,000 to $30,000, with up to $240,000 awarded in total.



INNOVATION IN PARTICIPATORY LEARNING AWARDS

Innovation in Participatory Learning Award Winners

About Innovation in Participatory Learning

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are designed to support the most promising and dynamic projects that enable and enhance innovative participatory learning. These pioneering projects will demonstrate new modes of participatory learning in a variety of environments, by creating new digital tools, modifying existing ones, or using digital media in some other novel way.

Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are intended to appeal to designers of new learning environments, which might include major adaptations of existing models of gaming, world building, social networking or other virtual environments; or the development of entirely new programs. In all cases, awarded projects must demonstrate a strong commitment to making possible new ways of valuable participatory learning, as opposed to simply creating new content.

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are for large-scale projects that will typically involve teams of collaborators. These awards, particularly those with the largest budgets, will go primarily to institutional projects rather than to individuals.

Collaboration is strongly encouraged (though not required) in the Innovation in Participatory Learning award category. International collaborations are particularly welcome, provided that the primary applicant meets eligibility requirements.

Innovation in Participatory Learning Details

Awards will range from $30,000 to $250,000. Up to $1.8 million will be awarded in total.

To be eligible, primary applicants must be institutions or organizations registered in Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nigeria, The People's Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, or the United States. Since international eligibility is being piloted for this Competition, eligible countries are those with which the HASTAC Competition administrators or MacArthur have familiarity based on their respective experiences. It is anticipated that future Competitions will include broader international eligibility in one or more application categories.

Legal U.S. residents whose principal place of residence is in the U.S. are eligible to apply as individuals.

In all cases, regardless of the award amount, the grant term is one year beginning between June 1, 2009 and September 1, 2009.

Only a small number of the most outstanding projects will be considered for maximum funding levels. Budgets will be scrutinized as part of the selection process. Applicants are advised to submit realistic, moderate budgets.

Budgets may include the costs of project staff, technological consultants, software, hardware, meetings, travel, and up to 15% indirect costs to be calculated on direct costs. Applicants are also required to budget for airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for a two-day "showcase" event in Chicago to be held at the end of the grant term.



YOUNG INNOVATOR AWARDS

Young Innovator Award Winners

About Young Innovator Awards

Young Innovator awards are targeted specifically to innovators aged 18-25. These awards will support smaller-scale, forward-thinking, conceptually exciting and original participatory learning projects.

The aim of this category is to encourage young innovators to think boldly about "what comes next" in participatory learning and to contribute to making it happen. These awards are designed to support young innovators in bringing their most visionary ideas from the "garage" stage to implementation.

Young Innovator Awards

Young Innovator awards consist of two components:

  1. Support for project development, including the awardee's independent work on the proposed idea, and
  2. An internship with a sponsoring organization that would be beneficial to the awardee's project. Internships can involve physical placement with a sponsoring organization or a mentoring relationship maintained by other means, including online communication.

The project and internship should complement one another. Winners will develop their projects over the course of the entire grant term, a period of one year

The internship will occur at any time within the grant term, so that winners may be working on their projects prior to, during, and/or after their internships, depending on the internship schedule. The internship must be between 10 weeks and one year in duration, depending on what is appropriate for the awardee and project. Interns will not be paid by the sponsoring organization and must support themselves during the internship period with the Young Innovator award or other funds. Funds from the award cannot be used to subsidize mentoring and/or placement with a sponsoring organization.

Applicants may either propose to arrange their own internships (and will be asked to describe such arrangements in full in their applications), or they can suggest more generally the kinds of internships, including the names of specific organizations, that would be most useful in advancing their projects. These might include placements and/or the establishment of mentoring relationships in technology companies, media industries, nonprofits, learning institutions, or governmental organizations. After the winners are selected, HASTAC will work to place individuals who have not arranged their own internships. Although HASTAC will attempt to find the best match for each winner, awardees are advised that they might not receive their first-choice placement. Applicants who arrange their own internships must secure an official endorsement from a sponsoring organization.

Applicants should consider carefully what kind of internship would be most suitable to advance their participatory learning project. This would include what kind of organization or company would be most beneficial to them and to their projects.

Applicants with a very clear plan for an internship, perhaps through an established relationship with a sponsor organization, should describe the internship arrangement specifically in the proposal and arrange for a letter of recommendation from that organization to be submitted with the application.

Applicants who do not have established working relationships with organizations or companies where they wish to be sponsored are asked not to contact the organization. In this case, applicants are encouraged to research the organizations in which they are interested and to envision a mutually beneficial internship arrangement, describing this in as much detail as possible on the application.

Whether the internship involves physical placement or not, each sponsoring organization will be asked to appoint a principal mentor to work with the awardee. The mentor should supervise the internship and assist the awardee in taking advantage of resources at the sponsoring institution that could help move the intern's project to implementation.

Young Innovator Details

Awards will range from $5,000 to $30,000. Up to $240,000 will be awarded in total.

To be eligible, applicants must be individuals aged 18-25 at the time of application. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents whose principal place of residence is in the U.S.

In all cases, regardless of the award amount, the grant term is one year beginning between June 1, 2009 and September 1, 2009. An internship lasting 10 weeks to one year must occur within the period of the grant term. The internship should not extend beyond the grant term unless mutually agreed with the sponsoring organization; however, no award funds will be distributed after the close of the grant term.

Budgets will be scrutinized as part of the selection process. Applicants are advised to submit realistic, moderate budgets.

Budgets may include both the costs of project development and living expenses as necessary. Items to be budgeted for project development may include software, hardware, or consultation. Living expenses to allow work on the project are also appropriate. As the internship is unpaid, award funds should be budgeted accordingly for living and/or moving expenses during that period. Applicants are also required to budget for airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for a two-day "showcase" event in Chicago to be held at the end of the grant term.