April 9, 2009 | Education
Verizon Foundation Supports FRONTLINE Project Examining Life in the Digital Age
How has technology changed our lives?
The Verizon Foundation is providing a $1 million grant to partner with PBS FRONTLINE in exploring the answer to that question with an exciting, innovative initiative called "Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier." The multi-platform project will include a website offering video reports and user-submitted stories, educational outreach initiatives and a national television broadcast early next year.
At the project launch in Washington, D.C. on March 24, Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston said, "FRONTLINE, one of the most trusted sources in this country for news and information, is embarking on an ambitious project that will both report on how technology has changed life in America and will use technology to create a living demonstration and dialog about our digital nation.
"This concept captured our interest at all levels - from its relationship to our core business where the advancement and applications of technology are critical, to its alignment with our philanthropic efforts to use technology to improve education and ensure Internet safety."
"The sweeping magnitude and speed with which digital media permeated nearly every facet of our culture prompts us to take a long, hard look at the implications," said FRONTLINE Executive Produce David Fanning. "An initiative of this scope would not have been possible without the Verizon Foundation's commitment to exploring these issues and its generous financial support."
Digital Nation will examine the web's impact on education, how social media change the way individuals interact and Internet safety and privacy.
Visitors to the website will see news in the making, watching online video reports as the PBS crew produces footage for the documentary. They will also be invited to participate in the documentary process by submitting their personal stories about the impact of technology on their lives. Live online events will feature reports from expert guests on topics such as education and technology, online privacy, early childhood development and digital media in the workplace.
An extensive outreach and education program will provide companion online workshops for teachers and parents on safe use of the Internet. This includes development of video modules and curriculum materials by the WGBH Teacher's Domain that will be available on Thinkfinity.org.
A national, 60-minute FRONTLINE television documentary will air in January 2010, created by award-winning FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin with journalist and correspondent Douglas Rushkoff. Throughout the show's filming cycle, the production team will post footage on the website and blog about their process.
"We believe this endeavor will create greater understanding and a body of knowledge about the effects of technology on how we live, learn and work in this digital nation," said Gaston.
Check it Out
Go to (www.pbs.org/frontline/digitalnation) today to read and see stories from the most wired place on earth, get updated by the Digital Nation FRONTLINE team, learn about online games and Internet addiction and share your stories about life in the digital age.
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