1. New Orleans Students Present Their Game
  2. Summer Interns Create Original Game: Fix It With Food
  3. Educators Become Gamemakers at Globaloria Academy in WV
  4. Idit Caperton Gives NECC Closing Keynote in Texas and in Second Life

1. New Orleans Students Present The Ultimate Lunch Tray to the Press

On July 24, students from the Rethink summer camp in New Orleans presented their game, The Ultimate Lunch Tray, at a press conference attended by members of the local and national press, New Orleans school system officials, including Paul Vallas, Superintendent of the New Orleans Recovery School District, and members of the local community. Set in their ideal school cafeteria -- bright, clean, friendly and well stocked with delicious, nutritious foods -- the Rethinkers ' game challenges players to quickly "drag-and-drop" the best combination of food options from a fast-moving cafeteria conveyor belt. The goal is to score the most points by choosing healthy and locally produced foods.

"The Ultimate Lunch Tray" title screen

ReThink team members

"The Ultimate Lunch Tray" screen shot

During a four-week Globaloria mini-course, the Rethinkers (ages 10-18) inaugurated the MyHLife.org network and resources and spent a total of 100 hours developing this game. Together, they conceived their game idea, did research on nutrition and local foods, created a paper prototype and a written design plan, and drew and animated all the game assets in Flash. They were mentored by Amu Ptah, the foundation's Partnerships Manager, and collaborated closely with the World Wide Workshop Team via wiki, blogs and video conference calls. Interns at our NYC office helped them with Flash questions, and our expert game programmer, Brian Judy, helped the young designers complete their final game engine and scoring system. The Rethinkers - who had very little prior computer experience - became technologically fluent, created a collaborative team, and developed a compelling game prototype about a social issue that matters to them - school community where the value of healthy and locally grown foods is highlighted.

Play The Ultimate Lunch Tray, meet the Rethinkers, and explore their design work on the MyHLife.org Rethink wiki.

2. Summer Interns Create Original Game: Fix it With Food

This summer the World Wide Workshop welcomed six extraordinary high school interns - Rebecca Distler, Emily Wolf, Aixsha Hiciano, Jadry Gruen, Leticia Perez, and Leslie Hiciano - to its New York team. The interns helped with a wide variety of research and production projects for Globaloria's MyGLife, MySLife and MyHLife Networks. Four of the interns (Leslie, Leticia, Rebecca and Emily) teamed up to test the new MyHLife curriculum and resources by using it to create their own game. In the process, they also provided a model for other Globaloria networks members to follow.

"Fix it With Food" title screen

"Fix it With Food" game screen

Their game, Fix it with Food, is a single player multi-level game that poses everyday dietary questions to the player, who must then navigate through several rooms with various obstacles to reach the correct food option. The player learns why their choice is correct or incorrect, and how to improve their eating habits. The goal was to make a game using the same course and in the same time frame as the NOLA Rethinkers - in an effort to help guide them in their own endeavor. The team quickly learned about Flash and game design, and not only helped the Rethinkers, but also helped the Foundation team to make improvements to the MyHLife course itself.

Summer Interns: Rebecca, Leticia, Emily and Leslie

Play Fix it with Food, meet the interns, and explore their game design work on the MyHLife Rethink wiki.

3. WV Educators Become Game Makers at Globaloria Academy

Idit addressing the workshop

From July 15-17, twenty one West Virginia educators attended the first Globaloria Academy Workshop for the 2008-09 academic year in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Attendees took off their "teacher hats" and stepped into the role of Globaloria learners, gaining first-hand experience of the game design course they will be facilitating with students during the school year. After an intensive introduction to the Globaloria networks, curriculum and program, the educators formed four teams, who each conceived and developed an original game idea that explores global and local issues. Over the next two days, the teams developed an initial game demo in Flash and presented it at end of the workshop. Each team member created their own wiki profile page and blog, and each team created a game page. The educators made a great start in exploring the curriculum, trying a few tutorials, building prototypes on paper and in Flash, and posting their presentations and designs on the wiki. They left with the challenge to continue working on their game as virtual teams until the next workshop. A prize will be given to the team that makes the most progress. The second workshop will be held August 19-20 in Charleston, and will focus on strategies for facilitating Globaloria students.

Workshop in session

"The Greenhouse"

Workshop at work

Visit the WV Educators' Network, and click to explore their games-in-progress.

Read More About Globaloria West Virginia:
Globaloria-WV Press Release: West Virginia Center for Professional Development
The Exponent Telegram: Learning 21st Century Skills

4. Idit Caperton Gives NECC Keynote in Texas and in Second Life

On July 2, Idit Caperton, President and Founder of the World Wide Workshop, gave the Closing Keynote at the National Education Computing Conference 2008 to an audience of more than 3000 in San Antonio Texas, and to many more viewers virtually, on Second Life. This presentation marks the first time in NECC history where a speaker was introduced virtually even before meeting the live audience at the conference hall. Leslie Conery the President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, the organization that runs NECC) introduced Idit first in Second Life, where their avatars walked around and met with the audience on ISTE Island, just before Idit appeared on the real life stage in San Antonio.

NECC 2008

Idit's presentation, entitled "The Transformational Power of Social Media Technology in Learning: Inspiring Stories from the Classroom and Beyond" addressed how Social Networks, Wikis, Blogs and other user-generated content technologies, are changing the informational, social, political, and educational landscapes. Using a fast-paced, multi-dimensional tapestry of stories, she presented a synthesis of specific examples of 1:1 computing history and innovation from her past MIT research, from MaMaMedia.com, and from fresh content at NECC 2008.

Idit'sClosing Keynote,
as seen in second life

Idit described the differences between the old web where "Content was King" and the new web 2.0, where "Contact is King." She then explained how in contemporary education contexts, when we apply social media technology for learning, both Content and Contact are important to knowledge development. She also reviewed the history of "Constructionism" and called for "an upgrade" to a new "Contemporary Constructionism" which redefines the MIT theory to better-fit in the age of project-based learning with social media technology and Web2.0 tools. She then presented her favorite 5 criteria about Web2.0 "best practices" for the purpose of subject knowledge development. Finally she introduced her recent invention in 1:1 computing - the Globaloria Networks (www.globaloria.org) - complete with video cases of how today's social media technology is creating opportunities for students creativity, collaboration and global exchange never before possible.

Leave Idit a comment here: Idit Caperton's NECC2008 Profile

Read impressions from some of the bloggers who watched the talk at Second Life:

Jamison Kane
Wesley Fryer

World Wide Workshop Newsletter