MyHealthLife.org network (beta) launched this summer with its first pilot program at the Rethink summer camp in New Orleans. Rethinkers are 10-18 year-old students from all over New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina survivors, who come together to rethink and bring about improvements to their public schools, post Katrina devastation. From June 16 through July 25, fifteen students are rethinking New Orleans school systems of security and cafeterias in ways that support comfortable, healthier lifestyles for students, and, at the same time, help sustains the local Gulf Coast economy. They are conceptualizing, developing, and presenting their original games on the MyHLife network that will be used in their Press Conferences as an advocacy tool to change policy relating to school food and cafeteria styles and habits. Using the wiki space, Rethinkers and the Worldwide Workshop staff virtually work together on the games. At the end of the course, the Rethinkers will present their games to the press at a big News Conference and Celebration! Visit MyHLife.org to find out more about this exciting new project.
The Benedum Foundation has recently announced that it is renewing sponsorship of the Globaloria Program in West Virginia. MyGLife is the first-of-its-kind statewide pilot in of a social network for learning. The $250,000 grant will allow the World Wide Workshop Foundation to expand its program in West Virginia, and double its size in pilot year 2. Students create original web games about educational topics and social issues, at the middle school, high school, and university level -- they use the virtual MyGLife network to communicate with each other and with the WWWF staff as they learn to design games about educational topics and social issues. The program helps them to gain technical and life skills, while deepening their knowledge of core subjects and important social issues. With Benedum's support, the MyGLife pilot is expanding from eight locations in the 2007-08 year to twenty locations in 2008-09 and also commencing a partnership with the WV Center for Professional Development. Visit Globaloria-WV to play games students created in the first year pilot, and to find out more about the program!
The second pilot for Globaloria's My Science Life network -- in which students and educators learn to design science games and simulations about the global climate crisis -- launched in June 2008. Students from Trinidad, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia use the fully virtual network with the mentoring support of MySLife Pilot 1 alumni, World Wide Workshop Staff, and SEED volunteers from the Schlumberger foundation (a non-profit community development program with a focus of igniting a passion for science and learning to empower youth). The World Wide Workshop is excited to work with SEED to enable students to take a hands-on approach to learning about their environment and the best way to preserve it. By creating original science games and simulations, students absorb information about science and global climate in a fun, interactive manner. Visit the MySLife network to see the pilot group in action.
Dr. Idit Caperton, is speaking at two conferences this summer to discuss the groundbreaking research and creativity that lead to the advent of the Globaloria networks. She will be the Closing Keynote speaker at the NECC (ISTE's National Education Computing Conference) on July 2 providing a new perspective on "The Transformational Power of Social Media Technology in Learning." She will then present a paper on July 10th at the GLS 4.0 (Games Learning & Society) conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to discuss how the Globaloria program uses learning to design web-games as an innovative way to teach young people from underserved communities. In both conferences, Idit will use case studies of students who participated in our Globaloria Programs in the past year to demonstrate that using programmable websites and, community wikis and blogs help bridge the "digital participation gap" and allow youth to learn and grow essential abilities and indispensable capabilities for their livelihood and life-long learning in the 21st Century.