McArthur’s Digital Media and Learning HASTAC Competition has announced their 2008 Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards and Young Innovator Awards. The awards support individuals and institutions at the forefront of participatory learning:

Participatory Learning includes the ways in which new technologies enable learners (of any age) to contribute in diverse ways to individual and shared learning goals. Through games, wikis, blogs, virtual environments, social network sites, cell phones, mobile devices, and other digital platforms, learners can participate in virtual communities where they share ideas, comment upon one another’s projects, and plan, design, advance, implement, or simply discuss their goals and ideas together. Participatory learners come together to aggregate their ideas and experiences in a way that makes the whole ultimately greater than the sum of the parts.

This is a great award that supports students and teachers of all ages

to think boldly about “what comes next” in participatory learning and to contribute to making it happen.

For past winners, check out the 2007 Winners Hub, featuring projects like Critical Commons, a fair use guide for educators, and Black Cloud, a participatory pollution monitor.

Also check out social media guru Howard Rheingold, one of the winners, who has been running a HASTAC forum on participatory learning on Seesmic. In the Social Media Classroom Co-labrotory, Howard Rheingold explores the idea of participatory learning with the new HASTAC Scholars explores the affordances of SEESMIC (think YouTube video with responses running along the bottom as the video plays to highlight the conversation) as a learning tool.

For more on the HASTAC awards, check out their website and request for proposal.

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