Dear Partners and Friends,
Your contribution to our 501(c)3 will support economically-disadvantaged and technologically-underserved youth in public school systems in low-income rural and urban communities.
On May 24 Dr. Idit Harel Caperton presented her paper Full Steam Ahead on CS-STEM Learning at the NCWIT 2011 Summit on Practices and Ideas to Revolutionize Computing. She demonstrated many examples from the Globaloria Network that showed how students’ art and design and creative cognition can re-ignite STEM learning and innovation, and also how to broaden and scale participation in computer science among young boys and girls and non-techie teachers in public schools in low-income communities. Idit’s paper reinforces the urgent need to elevate creativity and imagination for cultivating the next generation of STEM learning through game design. “Globaloria.org provides a creative and fun hands-on computing curriculum that takes a new approach to teaching computer programming. It’s a highly innovative school practice,” commented Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-Founder of NCWIT. SEED Magazine subsequently published this paper as a critical piece on why integrating art and science is essential for understanding today’s scientific data and visualization.
Several top learning scientists have been asking hard questions about Globaloria’s transformative power and contribution to student and teacher development. On May 19th, a team of learning and cognitive scientists at the Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) lead by Cameron Fadjo, Dr. John Black and Dr. Susan Lowes presented their third-party expert evaluation of all Globaloria research completed to date. They contextualized Globaloria within the current learning and cognition playing field, and suggested directions for future studies. “At ILT we aim at understanding how ed-tech innovations like Globaloria augment specific cognitive capacities, academic learning, and acquisition of transferable metacognitive skills. Globaloria can inform the way we conceive the role of technology in transforming education and cognitive development,” said Prof. John Black. “We believe that there is a door to vast knowledge here that we are just starting to unlock.” To read more reports from our independent research partners, click here.
In early May, Carrie Ray-Hill, a content expert at iCivics, a Washington DC-based organization founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is also the Globaloria Civics Competition Honorary Chair, visited five Globaloria classrooms in West Virginia. Carrie watched students’ games-in-the-making presentations and gave personalized feedback on what civics is and how to successfully incorporate complex civics topics into game play. “This expert visit was an eye opener for my students to see all the different paths their games could take and still fall into the civics category,” commented Cindy Paynter, Globaloria Educator at Man Middle School in Logan County. “The partnership between iCivics and the World Wide Workshop has tapped into the learning benefits of both game play and game creation,” remarked Carrie. “Meeting students at their creative core can result in more meaningful and lasting learning experiences that can benefit all learners and their educators.”
On May 31, members from West Virginia Department of Education, West Virginia Board of Education, and WV businesses gathered at the WVBE boardroom to meet selected Globaloria students and educators and watch them present their original webgames and lesson plans. Logan County superintendent, Wilma Zigmond, remarked how excited she is that “six schools in Logan county joined the Globaloria…it’s not easy, but it’s very good for them…I tell my teachers and students to work hard every day to master the most advanced computer skills and learn their math, science, and civics in this new way.” Mrs. Zigmond added, “It’s important for their careers, for everything they will do in life in the future, and I want to continue growing it in my schools.” Priscilla Haden, President of the WV Board of Education, added, “At a time when schools need to be particularly thoughtful about priorities, Globaloria is a way of empowering students with the technology knowledge and creative cognition skills they will need to succeed—both in college and in the global knowledge economy. This is our state’s model for embracing the 10 Elements of Digital Learning.” Read the press release and other media coverage.
Doing STEM on the weekend?! Yes! On May 14-15 in East Austin, 6th and 7th graders came to school at the East Austin College Prep Academy to work all weekend so as to complete their games on time for the Globeys submission deadline. Their teachers, Nyssa Acros-Evans and Teresa Valdez, reported with excitement, "We didn't mind coming to school on the weekend, we enjoyed it and felt energized by the kids’ dedication." Laura Minnigerode, World Wide Workshop EACPA Manager added, "It was fascinating to see how many kids came to work on the weekend. I actually observed several girls coming from Girl Scout camp-out, straight from the bus to the computers, and started working." Stay tuned for a bigger story about the Globeys at EACPA in the June Newsletter!