On Thursday, April 16, UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media became one of 14 institutions to win the MacArthur Foundation‘s prestigious Digital Media and Learning Innovation Grant. The center’s initiative, “DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea,” was selected from more than 700 proposals and is expected to contribute to the field of education by creating a learning environment that incorporates the use of digital media tools.
DigitalOcean is an ocean science education and social networking initiative that will partner students, scientists, and new media experts with Google Ocean, NASA GLOBE, and ePals. The project will engage middle and high school classrooms from around the world to collect and share data, images, and stories about seafood choices in their communities.
The information gathered by the project will show how these choices affect the health of the world’s oceans. “It is vital that young people collaborate on understanding the implications of how we harvest and consume seafood if we are to create a cultural consensus to address this problem before it is too late,” said Constance Penley, center co-director and leader of the project, in a press release. “The goal is to create a global dialogue about local customs, regulatory laws, fishing practices, wildlife management, and the future of ocean sustainability.”
The competition is designed to determine how digital technology impacts the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in their communities. The Carsey-Wolf Center’s project stood out for its innovative use of social networking, photo sharing, gaming, and mash up applications like Google Earth as educational tools. MacArthur president Jonathan Fanton described the initiative in a press release as a “true exemplar of how digital media [is] transforming the way we think and learn.”