Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Frontiers of Democracy: Innovations in Civic Practice, Theory, and Education

July 22, 2011, 11 a.m., Posted by Marc Fest

tufts sunset

Practitioners, academics, public officials, funders, and others are gathering in downtown Boston today for the Third Annual Conference in Civic Studies at Tisch College, Tufts University. Its title is “Frontiers of Democracy: Innovations in Civic Practice, Theory, and Education." Paula Ellis, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, and Damian Thorman, National Program Director, are both representing  Knight Foundation at the conference.

Games for engagement: Huffington Post says "put down your pencils and play"

July 21, 2011, 3:27 p.m., Posted by Andries Vaisman

nick and sequoia answering questions in a children's quiz game - _MG_0409.embed

A recent article in the Huffington Post cited the importance of using interactive games to strengthen youth education.  Central to the argument was the idea that creative, digital teaching methods are part of learning in the 21st Century.

As a strong supporter of games for engagement, Knight, too, believes in the potential of games.  It’s important that we take advantage of the tools that are being developed, and with all the activity taking place in the field, we’re glad to be involved.

“Video games have become central to our social fabric,” wrote author Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a Knight grantee.  “They are...

Wisconsin foundation develops innovative digital signage project with MIT Center for Civic Media

July 20, 2011, 1:03 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan

MIT Center for Civic Media, working with the Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County, is launching the first phase of the Sameboat project. The goal of Sameboat is to take important community information and push it out to everyday places that people commonly frequent.

The signs will make it easier for  community members to find out about free and low-cost events and services in the area.

”The first phase involves a fairly inexpensive digital signage network that goes into community spots where people already gather,” says Rick Borovoy, research scientist at MIT.

Here's a short video explaining the project.

The sign content is community-sourced from local partners hosting services and events.  Examples include: free student breakfasts at participating schools during the summer; area Farmers’ Markets; Wisconsin Rapids Zoo hours; free dinners at the Neighborhood Table; basic skills workshop at the Jobs Center, and food pantry screening hours at North Central Community Action Program.

“Our community wants to make sure people are aware of local services and events being offered,” adds Kurt Heuer, Chief of Police at Wisconsin Rapids Police Department. “People should...