Celebrating four BOLD years

Our blog looks ahead under new leadership
Photo by Agnieszka Ziomek on Unsplash
Photo by Agnieszka Ziomek on Unsplash

Can you believe it, dear readers and contributors? It’s been four years since we launched BOLD, the Jacobs Foundation’s Blog on Learning and Development! As you have followed our journey, you have witnessed – and contributed to – BOLD’s evolution. You have watched as we’ve introduced new formats, new topics, and new collaborations and partnerships. You’ve seen how the number of our authors has increased to 240, our published blog posts to 600, and our monthly readers to well over 20,000.

Today, BOLD is a highly regarded resource for scientific insights into various aspects of children’s learning and development. None of this would have been possible without your interest and support. Thank you!

But there’s no time to rest. The words “Learning” and “Development” in our name apply to us as well! Just a few of the challenges and changes this year has brought:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on education and learning. This is why, in March, we launched our content collection “Learning in Extraordinary Times,” which is providing a platform for scholars and science journalists seeking to understand the implications of COVID-19 for children’s learning, and is bringing the most important findings to a broad audience.
  • Video is already the primary source of information for many people, and the trend seems to be moving more and more in that direction. When we talk about science, we need to take this into account. This is why we have teamed up with kurzgesagt, a highly respected producer of animated educational content, and the science communication experts at Catta to create a new series of animated explainer videos, which you can view on our YouTube channel. The script of each video has been written in collaboration with one of our JF Research Fellows. (As this blog post is being published, another four videos are still in production.)
  • Understanding and embracing variability in learning is an important part of the Jacobs Foundation’s Strategy 2030. While these issues are not new to BOLD, we have intensified our work with authors who offer insights into this subject area.
  • Collaborating with other platforms has always been important to us, as it provides us with an opportunity to share expertise and reach a larger audience. I’d like to mention just a few of our most recent collaborations: We have been partnering with the npj Science of Learning Community, the Center for the Developing Adolescent and its blog as well as the LEAD Graduate School & Research Network.

After four challenging and productive years, it’s time for me to step down from my role as founding Editor-in-Chief and make room for new perspectives. I’m delighted to introduce BOLD’s new Editor-in-Chief, Gemma Wirz, who is taking over this month! With her background in science, and as an experienced science communicator, she is the perfect person to guide our blog as we move ahead into the future.

The first half of 2020 was eventful, to say the least, and this is sure to be true of the second half as well. BOLD, which became part of the Jacobs Foundation’s program area Learning Minds this past spring, will be guided by our Strategy 2030 – which will mean even more interesting content for you, the followers of our blog. And some exciting news: In the near future, something I’ve been wanting to introduce for a long time will finally become a reality: a podcast series.

Thank you for joining and supporting us on our journey so far, and stay tuned for more to come as BOLD starts a new chapter!

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