If you don’t know about the MacArthur Foundation already, you should. MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest funding organizations, supporting everything from public radio to overseas education. At Spark, we take a special interest in the work the MacArthur Foundation does to improve education. In 2006, MacArthur began an initiative focused on digital media and learning. This initiative aimed to test the changing face of public education and to determine how best to prepare students for the changing social, economic, and political demands of the 21st century.

To date, the MacArthur Foundation has made over 60 million dollars in grants available to researchers working at the intersection between education and technology. Watch the video above to learn how that investment has informed the way we look at education in the 21st century.

Connie Yowell, Director of Educational Grantmaking for MacArthur, says,”When we think about education, we get a little bit stuck in the 19th century vision of something that happens in a single institution in a single place at a particular time. So one of the shifts that’s been incredibly important for us is to shift away from education and to shift towards learning. Learning happens anywhere, anytime, which is what the kids are doing.”

Spark shares this vision of learning, which is why we fund projects that help learning happen everywhere. Whether it’s by exploring our neighborhood’s parks by Geocaching with Venture Outdoors, or by playing a WordPlay game while waiting for the bus, we want to help children and families think of learning as something that doesn’t only happen inside the classroom. Check out more of our funded projects to see all the ways in which Spark brings learning to you.