The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Oct. 19 announced plans to donate $50 million to study the impact of digital media on student learning.

Officials said the five-year project will fund research and innovations designed to explore the impact of digital media on youth culture and to investigate how a myriad of new-media technologies, from video games to social networking web sites, can be used to help students learn.

The news was announced just days after a leading U.S. science group issued a report calling for the federal government to spend...

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