Introducing Spotlight’s New Look

Filed in: Spotlight News

Filed by Barbara Ray


10.25.10 | We’re thrilled to debut a new look for Spotlight. The new design, by our great team at Hop Studios, provides an even better stage to showcase the many innovative projects and research happening at the intersection of the digital media and education. The site also allows for more interaction, so please join the conversation here and on Twitter.

It’s been an exciting year for Spotlight. We’ve covered so many cool stories it’s hard to know where to start, but here’s a taste. We talked with school officials and students in South Africa to see how students are using mobile phones to document their culture; we watched as students in SmallLab learned geometry and chemistry with Wii-like hands-on interactions; we tagged along with students on a virtual archeological dig in Zambia with the scientists at Chicago’s Field Museum; we heard from innovators who are using Scratch, Little Big Planet and other platforms to teach kids to be their own game designers and, in doing so, help them absorb critical thinking skills, along with physics, math and engineering basics; we’ve watched kids chase history in downtown Chicago with a mobile game; and we’ve listened in on students at Chicago’s YOUMedia as they create a voice for themselves using digital media.

And it’s only beginning. The field is coming alive with games, apps, afterschool sites, and innovations in the classroom that are certain to keep us busy. We’ll continue to take readers behind the scenes with regular feature stories, a daily blog that curates digital media news, and a biweekly episode of StudentSpeak, which turns the spotlight on how young people themselves think about and use digital media. 

We’d love to hear from you. If you’re a researcher or game designer working in the field, or if you’re a teacher or youth program using digital media with students, let us know. We’re always scouting new stories and new students for StudentSpeak.

Today, read on for a truly amazing story that takes you—and students—into the Great Bear Rainforest of northern Canada. I think you’ll be as enthralled as the Heiltsuk Nation children were with real-time video of wolves playing at the edge of the forest, bears feasting on salmon, a bald eagle up close, and wolves feeding at night.

The team at Pacific Wild installed high-tech, 360-degree pan, tilt and zoom cameras in the forest and then stood back and watched the video feed from back in their cabins, allowing the animals to be at home in their habitat, undisturbed by human interaction.

“There’s so much unknown about what goes on in these salmon rivers,” says Pacific Wild founder Ian McAllister, “We really hope it’s going to open up our eyes to a world that’s been previously inaccessible.”

For the students, it is truly an amazing discovery. 

So stay tuned, and chime in. We’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see on Spotlight in the future.



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