Dear Partners and Friends,
We're launching our fourth pilot year in West Virginia and our second in East Austin, Texas. It's a time to reflect on the remarkable growth of the Globaloria program, which has been possible thanks to the support of our funders and partners. Thanks to all of you!
Enjoy the last days of summer,
Only 3 years ago, there were 7 pioneering Globaloria Educators. This month, 60 new and returning educators participated in strategic and specialized professional development training, readying Globaloria to charge into its fourth pilot year across the state of West Virginia, and second pilot year at our charter school location in East Austin, Texas.
This year, West Virginia implements Globaloria in 41 schools (8 middle schools, 28 high schools, 3 alternative education facilities and 2 community colleges) bringing the Globaloria program’s innovative social learning network and game design curriculum to 1,255 students. With Globaloria, students are integrating deep content learning in one of four knowledge areas: the humanities, civics and news, S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), or social issues. Following the success of last years’ Civics and S.T.E.M. Games Competitions, this year there will be competitions in all four knowledge areas. “The sustainable potential and scalability of our program is well-demonstrated throughout all of our pilot years,” claims State Director David Lowenstein. “We want to also show that the Globaloria program doesn’t just expand across space and academic disciplines, but to also delves deeply into learning content areas. The exemplary performance of our Civics and S.T.E.M. classrooms last year has proven Globaloria’s ability to harness core-subject learning—now, we are ready to spotlight the fact that this kind of deep-learning can be applied to all subjects with our flexible, but rigorous curriculum.”
The EACPA (East Austin College Prep Academy) pilot program is launching its second year in East Austin, Texas. EACPA more than doubled its student population with an incoming class of 96 6th graders, who, like last years’ class, are taking Globaloria to enhance their math skills under the leadership of Teresa Valdez. 86 returning 7th graders are taking Globaloria to enhance their science skills, with new educator Nyssa Arcos Evans. “It’s wonderful to watch the entire student body at EACPA addressing and engaging with core-content in great depth as they progress in their education,” exclaims Amber Oliver, Director of Partnerships and Operations. “By the time our first 6th grade class, who started in the first Texas pilot year, graduate high school, they will have had seven full years of integrated content learning with 21st-century skills, readying them to engage fully in the global economy.”
The Foundation staff is pleased to introduce our newest team member, WV State Manager Denise Stalnaker. Denise participated in the launch of the Globaloria-WV pilot in 2007 as a high school educator from Randolph Technical Center in Elkins. By her second year, Denise became a mentor to other educators, and lead training sessions in professional development academies. As the Globaloria pilot grew during the last three years, Denise’s aptitude for learning through teaching was an inspiration, and made her an exemplary Globaloria educator. "The most important thing I've learned was to allow students to teach me," said Denise. “I’ve seen how the co-learning approach through Globaloria can jump-start the important transition all students and teachers need to make to harness 21st-century skills in virtual networked learning environments, and I believe that Globaloria will transform education in West Virginia and elsewhere." She added, "I’m proud to join the World Wide Workshop operational staff to empower even more students everywhere with the literacies they need to succeed in our state’s middle schools, high schools and colleges.” Denise works with David Lowenstein, WV-State Director and Monica Beane, Assistant Director, Office of Instruction from WVDE, on all programs and initiatives of the program’s operations and development within the state.
From August 16-20, educational theorists, scientists, scholars, and innovators from all over the world met in Paris, France to celebrate Constructionism. World Wide Workshop Foundation founder and president Idit Harel Caperton helped to develop the constructionist theory, research frameworks, and operational models alongside Seymour Papert and his team at MIT. Constructionism 2010 featured panels, discussions and workshops celebrating the programming language Logo and Constructionist learning. “Seymour is one of the most brilliant learning theorists of the 20th century,” said Idit. “I am gratified and honored to have studied and worked alongside him for the many years that we spent developing Constructionism together at the MIT Media Lab, and in our startups MaMaMedia, ConnectedFamily, and the World Wide Workshop Foundation--where we continue to advance and upgrade Constructionism for the 21st century with Globaloria and our work with education leaders on the ground.”
Congratulations to the winning team in the 2010 Globaloria Civics Games Competition, The Fox Racers from Sandy River Middle School, for having their game featured on iCivics.org! iCivics.org is dedicated to teaching young people about the court system and civic process through game-play. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the honorary chair of the juding committee of the 1st Annual Globaloria Civics Games Competition sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Kids all over the United States can now play the game to learn about civic law. "Having worked with the Globaloria students early on, I was thrilled to see their progress and their ideas come alive,” exclaimed Abigail Taylor, Executive Director of iCivics.org. “It's hard to make a good civics game, I know this from experience, and these students impressed me with their knowledge of civics and creative game design." We can't wait to play this year's civics games!