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About Project:Connect

the 5th Annual Digital Media & Learning Competition
& part of the Summer of Making & Connecting

Empower the web to empower learning and democracy.

Just as generations before us harnessed the tools of their time, we must use the web to ensure education and democracy fit the digital age. DML Competition 5 is about helping young people hack a better web and use it to make learning more relevant — to real life and real work, to each learner’s passion, and to the opportunities of tomorrow.

What: A series of local hands-on events July through September where young people collaborate and compete to build a better web through activities such as hackathons, maker spaces, digital journalism and communications labs.

Where: Museums, libraries and other non-profit institutions across the country that provide hands-on learning opportunities for youth. (Applications are due June 10)

Why: Because we need learning approaches designed for our times. And to do that, we need to empower young people to control and leverage the most powerful tool of the digital age—the web.

About the Digital Media and Learning Competition

Created in 2007, the Digital Media and Learning Competition is designed to find and inspire the most innovative uses of new media in support of connected learning. Connected learning happens in and out of school, in physical places and in online spaces, and is:

Projects supported by the DML Competition explore how digital technologies are changing the way people learn and participate in daily life, through interaction with each other in connected, participatory ways, often involving the production and not just the consumption of knowledge, ideas, designs, and artifacts.

Past Competition awards have recognized individuals, for-profit companies, universities, and community organizations using new media to transform learning.

Supported by:

The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation launched the Digital Media and Learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way people, especially young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations.

The Digital Media and Learning initiative is marshaling what is already known about the field and seeding innovation for continued growth.

Grant support has been provided to the Digital Media and Learning Competition and to research projects, design studies, pilot programs, and experiments in learning applications, assessment and institutional design, structure and approach.

Administered by:

HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Advanced Collaboratory)

HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. HASTAC is committed to innovative design, participatory learning, and critical thinking.

In collaboration and partnership with:

The Mozilla Foundation

Mozilla is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better. It emphasizes principle over profit, and believes that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, not a commodity to be sold. Mozilla works with a worldwide community to create open source products like Mozilla Firefox, and to innovate for the benefit of the individual and the betterment of the Web. The result is great products built by passionate people and better choices for everyone. As a part of it’s overall commitment to learning on the web, Mozilla Foundation is providing the open badging infrastructure to support all competition badging systems and badges. We hope this infrastructure will extend the value of badges from each issuer across the entire badge ecosystem, making it easy for learners to collect and combine badges across various websites, networks and applications.

The Born This Way Foundation

Born This Way Foundation’s overarching strategy revolves around a series of initiatives that are each incorporated into our model: Online, On the Road, and Down the Street.

In light of the Foundation’s three pillars of Safety, Skills, and Opportunity, BTWF works to foster a safer, more supportive community Online by activating the Bravest Map Ever! along with Play Brave (an online social challenge), and a series of positivity-centric social media pages. As BTWF President and Co-Founder, Cynthia Germanotta says, “youth live online, but Kindness and Bravery don’t.” BTWF is looking to reengineer the way that kids present themselves online, and the ways in which they communicate with one another.

On the Road, BTWF’s second mode of action, revolves around the Born Brave Bus tour, which began in January 2013. With plans to keep the bus rolling into the future, BTWF’s presence On the Road will only become bigger and better in the coming years.

Finally, BTWF plans to have a presence Down the Street from you. By continuing to evolve programs that bring services to youth, and vice versa, the Foundation’s vision is to have a presence throughout the US and eventually all over the world. With a strong and positive online presence, a revolutionary way of connecting youth to one another via the Bus and digital components, and the creation and strengthening of work with like-minded partners, BTWF is definitely here to stay.


Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

The Family Online Safety Institute

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safer for kids and their families by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods that also respect free speech. FOSI is a trusted international convener, bringing together leaders in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions in child safety in a Web 2.0 world. FOSI’s members include: AOL, AT&T, BAE Systems Detica, BT Retail, Comcast, Disney, Entertainment Software Association, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, GSM Association, Microsoft, Mind Candy, Motion Picture Association of America, NCTA, Nominum, Sprint, Symantec, Time Warner Cable, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, The Cyber Guardian, The Wireless Foundation, Trend Micro, Verizon and Yahoo!.