What would our research, technology design, and thinking look like if we took seriously the momentous opportunities and challenges for learning posed by our digital era? What happens when we stop privileging traditional ways of organizing knowledge (by fields, disciplines, and majors or minors) and turn attention instead to alternative modes of creating, innovating, and critiquing that better address the interconnected, interactive global nature of knowledge today, both in the classroom and beyond?
HASTAC ("haystack") is an alliance of individuals and institutions inspired by the possibilities that new technologies offer us for shaping how we learn, teach, communicate, create, and organize our local and global communities. We are motivated by the conviction that the digital era provides rich opportunities for informal and formal learning and for collaborative, networked research that extends across traditional disciplines, across the boundaries of academe and community, across the "two cultures" of humanism and technology, across the divide of thinking versus making, and across social strata and national borders.
You. HASTAC is open to anyone. One joins simply by registering on the HASTAC website. Once registered, you can contribute to the community by sharing your work and ideas with others in the HASTAC network, by hosting HASTAC events online or in your region, by initiating conversations, or by working collaboratively with others in the HASTAC community. HASTAC is, in effect, what you make us and change is our byword. HASTAC's scope and mission are fluid, constantly changing to meet the opportunities and challenges presented by the ever-shifting terrain of today's digital world and morphing with the needs and goals of our members.
Many of our members are academics or others affiliated with universities at any stage of their careers, from students to senior professors. Other HASTAC community members are public intellectuals, artists, citizen journalists and scholars, educators, software or hardware designers, scientists specializing in human-computer interfaces, gamers, programmers, librarians, museum curators, IT specialists, publishers, social and political organizers and interested others who use the potential of the Internet and mobile technologies for new forms of communication and social action.
Specializations include the full range of the humanities and social sciences, the arts, music, new media arts, journalism, communications, digital humanities, cultural studies, race, gender, and sexuality studies, and global studies, as well as all computational fields, visualization and auditory sciences, information science, and engineering, plus those interested in intellectual property issues, and those concerned with social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and public policy on a local or global scale.
HASTAC: Learning the Future Together
HASTAC administers the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Competition, an annual program that mobilizes emerging leaders, educators, and innovators to create the digital technologies that change the way we learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Since 2008, we have awarded $6 million to 72 of the most innovative digital media and learning projects in the U.S. and internationally.
Every year institutions from around the world support graduate and undergraduate students as HASTAC Scholars with small scholarships. HASTAC Scholars and Digital Media and Learning Competition winners share, collaborate, and learn together through forums, blogs, original projects, research, conferences, unconferences, webcasts, interviews, and social media, combining theory with practice, learning with doing, both virtually and face-to-face.
HASTAC was founded in 2002 by Cathy N. Davidson (Duke University) and David Theo Goldberg (University of California Humanities Research Institute), who were soon joined by leaders in the world of academe, technology, digital humanities, and the arts and humanities.
HASTAC.org & the HASTAC Network
- 9,150 HASTAC members
- 522 HASTAC Scholars between 2008-2012
- Over 120 institutions in North America and abroad have nominated HASTAC Scholars, with representation of a diverse range of community colleges, liberal arts colleges, public universities, and research universities.
- 29 HASTAC Scholar Forums on topics such as Grading 2.0: Evaluation in a Digital Age; Democratizing Knowledge; Critical Code Studies; Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora in a Digital Age; and Queer and Feminist New Media Spaces.
- 381,000 unique visitors to the HASTAC Scholars Forums between September of 2009 and May 2011.
- The HASTAC website sees approximately 28,000 visitors/month
- Outreach databases reaching over 1,000,000 people, including those working on learning through social networks, digital games, Augmented Reality Games, open standards, programming, STEM, digital humanities, peer-to-peer pedagogy, and much more.