On October 26th, the World Wide Workshop Foundation proudly launched its third My Science Life pilot community with female students and educators at the Dhahran Ahliyya School (DAS) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. DAS Technology Coordinator Salma Raad established a Science Games Club in her school with the aim of immersing girls in the 10-12th grades in an industry-realistic, science-focused, game-making learning experience. Salma and several DAS students participated in the 2008 My Science Life summer program (in collaboration with SEED-Schlumberger). Impressed and energized by that experience, Salma asked the World Wide Workshop Foundation to create My Science Life curricula for two pilots in her school: 1) a Science Club, and 2) an integrated program with the formal school curriculum.
The MySLife-DAS pilot digs deeper into global climate science. Students learn how to design and program an original game or simulation about an important global climate issue of their choosing. The pilot runs on a totally virtual platform that integrates Web2.0 and social-media tools such as wikis and blogs. This model has proved to be effective at building cognitive and learning skills and fostering a strong understanding of this urgent topic; it is also financially efficient and globally scalable. Visit the recently-launched MySLife DAS community.
On November 1st, Foundation President Idit Caperton led the 6th Edunov@ Institute in San Jose, Costa Rica. Edunov@ is an annual, one-day academic conference to promote high-quality education. Each year 150 to 250 professionals in education, cognition, business and government come together to discuss and share knowledge about current trends and innovations in education, technology and development and their implications for Costa Rica.
Edunov@ is a professional development program of the Omar Dengo Foundation (FOD). The Foundation works jointly with the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education on their National Educational Informatics Program to implement programs reaching over 450,000 children and teachers throughout the country. Their programs focus on education, technology, and economic development with a particular interest in human development, creativity and learning.
This year's conference theme was "Didactic production and learning in educational contexts". Idit's opening keynote focused the event on "Situating Constructionist Learning" in the new social-media technology and Web2.0 landscape. A journalist from the national newspaper - La Nacion - interviewed Idit, and summarized her theory about the relationship between the new Web2.0 technology and the developing brain, and the importance of facilitating the development of contemporary learning competencies among children worldwide (La Nacion Article in Spanish).
Shannon Sullivan has been the Foundation's Director of Programs and Executive Producer since 2006. She directed the development, programming and launch of all three Globaloria networks: MyGlobalLife.org, MyScienceLife.org and MyHealthLife.org. She and her team have implemented customized Globaloria pilots for communities in the U.S. (American University in DC, New Orleans, statewide in West Virginia) and worldwide (Israel, Malaysia, Russia, Saudia Arabia, Trinidad). After a new pilot site or network launches, Shannon uses real-time feedback to guide the ongoing training, and to plan expansion and enhancements to all network-related tools, platforms and curriculum. She defines the content offerings and learning materials for these open-source programs, sets the editorial tone, and leads the production and software development team.
Shannon is especially excited to focus on the challenge of "scaling up" Globaloria across West Virginia. In its second pilot year, Globaloria-WV has more than doubled in size (currently reaching 14 schools, 250 students and 30 educators) and is positioned to quadruple in the next two years.
Shannon draws on 15 years of rich professional experience as a director, producer, writer, and editor of innovative multimedia programs that entertain, educate and inspire action. She has worked for MTV, MaMaMedia, Knowledge Adventure and Davidson and Associates. Her body of work includes online communities, websites, video games, creativity tools, interactive learning programs, broadband video shows, CD-ROMs, mobile phone applications, print products, and museum exhibits. She holds a M.Ed. in instructional technology from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in journalism and history from the University of Southern California.