Blog Post

Follow the Money: Networking Civic Participation & Collaboration

Watch the video below to find out how Edwin Bender of Follow the Money and Suzanne Seggerman of Games for Change (another Digital Media & Learning Competition Winner) have found a way to collaborate.

 

What are you most excited about accomplishing so far as a HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition winner? How has winning this award helped your project accomplish this goal?

Winning the DML grant has opened doors for the Institute that we never considered before as we talked about developing an on-line users guide, particularly in the emerging field of using games for education. Our initial meeting with the winners in Chicago resulted in discussions between myself and Suzanne Seggerman of Games for Change, whom we invited to our annual meeting in Montana of board and national advisors. She talked with our board about the role games are playing in education at all levels of society. We also sent our Web programmer to the Games for Change conference in New York City to him to the latest innovations in the gaming world. We explored this avenue further with Alex Quinn at Games for Change in NYC and have been introduced to Colleen Macklin at Parsons The New School in New York.

While our proposal isn't for a game, it's clear that our on-line guide to FollowTheMoney.org will be a first step toward creating a more interactive learning tool that makes using and understanding our complex data sets simpler. That's exciting!

What are your goals for the next three months?

Next steps include drafting story boards on one specific issue, such as energy donors, and linking our on-line tools in a way that answers specific questions, such as why people and/or companies make campaign donations, what do they expect and why is that important to them and the public. Once we've linked the tools for one set of donors and an issue, then we can expand to other issues, such as health care or the environment.

Once the prototype is working, we'll circulate it to high school civics teachers and a national civic education organization that have agreed to advise us on tool and to promote it when it is complete.

Is there any kind of assistance, advice, PR, communications, networking, or any other kind of support from fellow Digital Media and Learning Competition winners or HASTAC staff that could help you with your project in any way?

With a pilot vetted through educators, we will post a pre-launch version to the Digital Media & Learning site for review by staff and other winners.

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