Leadership Forum: Learning from Hollywood

learningfromhollywood_bannerIn May 2011, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center hosted Learning from Hollywood, a leadership forum that brought together thought leaders from the entertainment industry, new technology companies, education, research, policy, and philanthropy—the pivotal sectors that must align forces to accelerate children’s learning. The Forum was designed to spark a sustained, collaborative effort to propel digital media’s critical role in stimulating positive social and educational change.

A special focus for the Forum was identifying scalable examples and models of how the creative media industries can help incite educational change by leveraging their storytelling power, persuasive tools, wide reach, and brilliance at engaging young people’s attention and driving their aspirations.

A key element of the Forum was the presentation of three critical challenges to stimulate action, built around the following issues: Given the literacy demands of a global age, can industry and educators “row in the same direction” to improve the quality and balance of media consumption among children ages 4-12? How can the almost eight hours a day that 8-year-olds consume media be viewed as an opportunity to “rebalance,’ form new learning habits, and accelerate children’s potential?

  1. Challenge 1: In the most powerful nation on earth, only one in seven African American children are considered “proficient” in reading by age 10. Meanwhile we have spent billions of dollars to fix thee early literacy crisis with only scant progress in 25 years. Can the power of storytelling and the personalization of digital media help solve the 4th grade reading crisis?
  2. Challenge 2: America faces a competitive surge int he capacity of other nations to recruit and train top engineers and research scientists while our own performance in science and math has crested. How can the engagement and technical content of digital mediathe ability to “blow stuff up,” promote learning complex subjects anytime, anywhere to advance STEM literacy?
  3. Challenge 3: Access to the blizzard of content that characterizes our Information Age has led many observers to worry about children’s ability to develop unbiased and creative inquiry skills. How can every 4th grader achieve a baseline modicum of digital literacy as a “down payment” on lifelong learning and civic participation habits?

 

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