Gone are the days of studying an encyclopedia. Computers and the Internet haven’t only changed the way we communicate but also the way we educate ourselves. Understanding all too well the significance of digital media and its impact on learning is Connie Yowell. Yowell, the Director of Education at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, oversees a five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative. It’s one of the first philanthropic efforts in the United States to systematically explore the impact of digital media on young people and implications for the future of learning.
genConnect, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, picked Yowell’s brain, and in the five-minute clip below, she shares three ways digital media has forever changed the way children learn.
“First, kids are really participating with information – as opposed to just consuming information,” Yowell said. “Second, digital media has really lowered the bar on the cost of production. So kids are becoming – instead of consumers of things – producers and makers of things. Third, not only are they making and producing things – but now they can share what they’re making. They can push a button and upload what they made and share it with millions of people and be a part of networks … They can get real time, immediate feedback about what they made. And that’s just an extraordinary difference.”
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