Mouse Awarded $100,000 as Winner of HASTAC “Badges for Learning” Competition, Supported by The MacArthur Foundation
NEW YORK, March 21, 2012 – Mouse, a national nonprofit organization providing technology programs that empower and inspire underserved youth, is pleased to announce being awarded $100,000 as a winner of the Digital Media and Learning Competition: Badges for Lifelong Learning. Winners were selected among 91 finalists and announced at the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference. This competition was held in collaboration with Mozilla, supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and administered by HASTAC.
This competition was designed to encourage the creation of digital badges and badge systems that identify, measure and account for new skills, competencies, knowledge and achievements for 21st century learners. A digital badge is an online record of achievements, which could represent traditional academic knowledge or the acquisition of skills such as collaboration, teamwork and leadership. Badges make the accomplishments and experiences of individuals, in online and offline spaces, visible to everyone, including potential employers, teachers, and peer communities.
“Learning today happens everywhere, but it's often difficult to get recognition for skills developed outside of the classroom. Badges can help us capture this learning and help learners use it for real results,” stated Erin Knight, Senior Director of Learning, Mozilla Foundation. “Mouse is a great example of how compelling and valuable informal learning opportunities can be, and a perfect use case for badges. Learners are already building legitimate skills and badges can help them carry evidence of that learning back to school or apply them toward higher education and career opportunities.”
More than 4,000 students across the country participate in Mouse programs, providing a valued technical support role in their schools, while also connecting with peers who share their interests and passions for digital media and technology. Mouse was selected for its Badge-based Achievement System for National Youth Technology Leadership (Mouse Wins!) that rewards youth for their active role in the national Mouse Network through its web-based network platform: www.mousesquad.org.
The Mouse Wins! system supports youth in building computational, digital, and workplace literacies, that are essential for 21st century innovation. Network members receive badges for completing Mouse Certifications, which include technical and soft skills that support their work and interests over time. Students are also rewarded for actively participating, communicating and collaborating across this national network of youth technology leaders, mirroring modern fields of practice in technology and other industries.
“We are thrilled to have been selected as a winner of this competition and to be part of this national effort to use digital technology to recognize the development of these important skills learned in and outside the classroom, and throughout life,” stated Carole Wacey, Executive Director, Mouse.
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Mouse is an innovative youth development organization that empowers underserved students to provide technology support and leadership in their schools, supporting their academic and career success. Founded in New York City in 1997, Mouse is a dynamic nonprofit organization having a positive and lasting impact on students in more than 350 locations in the United States, including in New York, California, Chicago and Texas, as well as a global presence in more than 50 countries. To learn more about Mouse, visit http://www.mouse.org.
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. The Digital Media and Learning Competition is part of MacArthur's $85 million digital media and learning initiative, which aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. More information is at http://www.macfound.org/learning.
Mozilla is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better. We emphasize principle over profit, and believe that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, not a commodity to be sold. We work with a worldwide community to create open source products like Mozilla Firefox, and to innovate for the benefit of the individual and the betterment of the Web.
HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. HASTAC is committed to innovative design, participatory learning, and critical thinking.
Susan Schwartz, Communications Director