Hive Network

In 2005, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation established a new grantmaking area in Digital Media and Learning. Representing an investment of more than $80 million, the effort is focused on understanding how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life, as well as how institutions are adapting to these changes.

As part of this initiative, the Foundation has invested in the creation of two Hive Learning Networks, one in New York City and the other in Chicago. The rationale behind Hive is two-fold: First, every day, young people move among learning experiences in a variety of environments. These environments—which can be formal or informal, physical or virtual—are increasingly defined by learners’ personal interests and social networks and less by geographic proximity. Second is the capacity of new technologies and media to provide the necessary integration and coordination between formal and informal education organizations within a community. When they are designed to link together, these multiple environments can create connected learning experiences in which youth can more easily participate in accessible, "anytime, anywhere" learning activities by pursuing their interests and following their peers.

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