Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Perhaps they were reading my coverage (the Tribune story is long gone, See this). Who knows? Anyhow, the MacArthur foundation is granting $2 million a year "for competitive research, writing, and demonstration projects." So my checque should be... oh, wait, they said competitive. Guess not, then, I am not of that political persuasion.

The grants have attracted some blog attention, with Harold Jarche taking a look and landing on the Spotlight blog, a group blog complete with a launch promo from Danah Boyd, all part of their (competitive?) Knowledge Network.

The grants were announced at a press release held inside Second Life and the winner of one grant, $240,000 will be going to Edward Castranova, an associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, who is developing a massively multiplayer online game called Arden: The World of Shakespeare.

Mark Glaser, meanwhile, cites Boyd extensively in his look at the grants, which becomes an article on whether the web is dangerous for kids. I think this Boyd quote: "the authorities [have] started to catch predators by posing online, so MySpace has become more dangerous for predators than for teens!"

Beth Kanter, a trainer and consultant, live-blogged the event; the result is a pretty good (and thorough) column. She asks, "One of the points mentions that this is a new field - digital learning and media and that it was a cross disciplinary field. Given all this potential change in education, what do we need to think about how all this applies to nonprofit sector?" This is especially relevant given the overtly commercial focus of most media.

There's a lot more coverage - you could build a whole new edublogosphere out of it. Tom Hoffman complains, "None of the 'edubloggers' seem to know a damned thing about it... nobody other than me seems to have anything to say about it at all." Of course, this was five days ago - it takes time for the blogosphere to respond. But how? Hoffman writes, "Time to start sucking up? Or turning on the heat? Collectively we've got a lot of Google juice to bring to bear in this participatory media environment."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 23, 2021 5:26 p.m.