HASTAC, "21st Century Learning Lab Designers"

December 23, 2009
By Christopher Tassava

HASTAC's "21st Century Learning Lab Designers" competition will make awards of $30,000 to $200,000 for projects that develop learning environments and digital media-based experiences allowing young people to grapple with social challenges through activities based on the social nature, contexts, and ideas of science, technology, engineering and math. Digital media of any type (social networks, games, virtual worlds, mobile devices or others) may be used. Proposals are also encouraged for curricula or other experiences that link or connect to any game. Learning labs may be designed around new games or expand the potential of open source or commercial games.

Learning labs are places of experimentation, tinkering, discovery, and even invention. In considering both how to prepare young people for the challenges of the 21st century and the possibilities of new technologies and digital media for learning, how might learning experiences and the learning lab be re-imagined?

Learning labs may take a variety of forms – physical or virtual spaces, maker kits, learning environments, project-based learning experiences are just a few. It is expected that, at a minimum, applications will support participatory learning and engage young people in actively experimenting, inventing, and/or tinkering with some aspects of the grand challenge(s) of our time; they should meaningfully extend across institutions (e.g., libraries, community centers, home, school, museums, afterschool program, youth programs, etc) and communities (physical or online). They should connect virtually and physically through creative use of digital media. Most importantly, it is expected that youth will be critical partners and active creators of these learning labs and the experiences they provide.

For more information, visit the 21st Century Learning Lab Designers webpage. Applications are due between January 7 and 15, 2010.