There's been a lot said about the negative impact for kids who spend too much time tied to their computer screen, but according to a recent $50 million study funded by the MacArthur Foundation, using digital media could teach kids something and is not just mindless Internetainment.
Children, according to the study, can learn technical skills, how to get along with people and maintain an online public identity. Some kids are able to take these lessons to the next level by "geekin-out" a peer-driven method of learning focused on gaining deep knowledge and expertise in specific areas that interest them.
Enter Cogito.org, an online community for so-called geeks, gifted middle- and high-school student who live for math and science. Developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in partnership with other leading centers for gifted children, Cogito, students have geeked out with Terry Tao, 2007 recipient of the Fields Medal in mathematics (the Nobel Prize equivalent on that subject), Johns Hopkins stem cell pioneer Doug Kerr, and geophysicist Allen West, whose theories about the extinction of the great mammals were featured in NOVA on PBS.
Writer: Walaika Haskins