The More We Know

The More We Know

NBC News, Educational Innovation, and Learning from Failure

By Eric Klopfer and Jason Haas

Foreword by Henry Jenkins

The rise and fall of iCue: lessons about new media, old media, and education from an NBC-MIT joint venture into interactive learning.





The rise and fall of iCue: lessons about new media, old media, and education from an NBC-MIT joint venture into interactive learning.

In 2006, young people were flocking to MySpace, discovering the joys of watching videos of cute animals on YouTube, and playing online games. Not many of them were watching network news on television; they got most of their information online. So when NBC and MIT launched iCue, an interactive learning venture that combined social networking, online video, and gaming in one multimedia educational site, it was perfectly in tune with the times. iCue was a surefire way for NBC to reach younger viewers and for MIT to test innovative educational methods in the real world. But iCue was a failure: it never developed an audience and was canceled as if it were a sitcom with bad ratings. In The More We Know, Eric Klopfer and Jason Haas, both part of the MIT development team, describe the rise and fall of iCue and what it can teach us about new media, old media, education, and the challenges of innovating in educational media.

Klopfer and Haas show that iCue was hampered by, among other things, an educational establishment focused on “teaching to the test,” television producers uncomfortable with participatory media, and confusion about the market. But this is not just a cautionary tale; sometimes more can be learned from an interesting failure than a string of successes. Today's educational technology visionaries (iPads for everyone!) might keep this lesson in mind.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262017947 232 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 46 figures


Henry Jenkins.


  • The More We Know is both a page turner and a crucial cautionary tale for reformers in the digital world. Any and all would-be reformers be warned: read this book. For all the rest, the book is a delicious insider's tale.

    James Paul Gee

    Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State Universit

  • This intriguing case study provides important insights into how academic and business partnerships function in order to improve education through new media. Highly recommended for entrepreneurs launching startups based on learning technologies.

    Chris Dede

    Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University

  • For new educational technologies to be both innovative and successful, they must challenge deeply-entrenched classroom traditions while also meeting the needs of students and teachers. The More We Know illustrates how difficult it is to accomplish both—and provides lessons for those who (I hope) will continue to try.

    Mitchel Resnick

    LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab