(Very Short) Essay Contest

NOTE: This contest is over. The deadline was Friday, November 13th, 2009. Thank you to the students who submitted essays. We’ll announce the winners soon.

Our Digital Literacy Contest tests how well people find and evaluate information online. These are only two parts of ‘digital literacy.’ What about synthesizing?

This fall we’re offering $250 in cash scholarships for a (very short) essay contest. Deadline Fri Nov 13, 2009. Open to all current students at these universities (not just those involved in the Digital Literacy Contest). Here’s the official prompt:

We’re the first generation to grow up immersed in cyberspace. How does this change intelligence – our memories, attention spans, as well as our abilities to focus, reflect and synthesize? Specifically, shape your argument as a response to Nicholas Carr’s Is Google Making Us Stupid? and Jamais Cascio’s Get Smarter. Argue persuasively and concisely in 300 – 500 words. Educators and policy makers need to know what our generation thinks about this issue. Tell them.

Email completed essays to Daniel.Poynter@gnic.org. Our team will select one winner from each of these five universities. Each winner will be mailed a check for $50. Formatting of text doesn’t matter. University staff are welcome to participate but are not eligible for prizes. All submitted essays will get a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike license, and the best will be put online:

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

You may also wish to use/reference this background material:

Good luck! =)


  1. jess Said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    thank u for the pizza 🙂


  2. Daniel Poynter Said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 9:22 am

    The Literacy Revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka3ImmG54Po


  3. The Hyperaware Consciousness » Visitor to Bay Area Seeks Inspired People Said,

    January 11, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    […] and librarians. I’ll be speaking about our Digital Literacy Contest and how the internet is affecting our minds. The title of the talk is, ‘Surfing Exponential Change: How to Build an Institutional […]

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