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Announcing DML 6: $700,000 learning playlists challenge designed to scale connected learning

DML 6 Playlists for Learning - Digital Media & Learning Competition Current Comptition Page Header Image

AUSTIN, TX – March 7, 2016 – The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI), with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, today announced a $700,000 open international challenge to scale connected learning through innovative learning playlists that close the opportunity gap and help learners succeed in today’s connected world. The interdisciplinary alliance HASTAC will help to administer the competition on behalf of UCHRI.

Applications are due May 13, 2016.

The 6th Digital Media and Learning Competition – Playlists for Learning – will offer development grants of 9 months ranging from $25,000 to $125,000. Winning teams will design connected learning playlists that provide viable alternatives to traditional learning pathways while scaling experiences and content to diverse local and digital audiences. Winners will become part of an innovative community of thought-leaders, academics, practitioners, educators, designers, technologists, and media artists that are leading the transformation of curriculum design and learning for the connected age.

“Over a decade, MacArthur has invested over $200 million in research and design experiments to explore how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate civically, and to understand what this means for education. These efforts have provided evidence that a new pedagogy called connected learning is an effective approach to preparing youth for the challenges of today’s world,” said Jennifer Humke, Senior Program Officer at MacArthur. “This competition is designed to bring the most promising connected learning programs and prototypes to youth across the country, and to help transform the way learning is organized and supported, especially for often marginalized young people in cities and beyond.”

Learning playlists offer a powerful innovative possibility for ensuring that young people from all backgrounds have the learning opportunities to thrive in our robustly connected age,” added David Theo Goldberg, director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Connected learning knits together academics, passions, and interests in ways that meaningfully advance learning and opportunities for youth. A connected learning playlist is a curated group of digital and local connected learning experiences and resources (e.g. videos, websites, books, games, articles, etc.) that are woven together into a sequenced pathway centered on a common theme. They broaden opportunities to engage in cohesive, interest-driven connected learning experiences that combine in-school, out-of-school, employer-based, and online learning.

For more information, please visit

Contact Mandy Dailey
Director of Administration, Digital Media and Learning Competition


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