Vice President, Benedum Foundation & Globaloria-WV Funder
Image: "The Haunted School" game by Level 50's team, RTC.
- Workshop Mission
- Non-Discrimination Policy
- Problems Addressed: Closing the Digital Literacy Gap
- Philosophy: Learning-by-Doing for Real-World Application
- Innovation: Using Social Media Technologies and Gaming for Educational Transformation
- Impact: Contemporary Learning Abilities
- Research: Assessing our impact
- Meet our Team
1. Workshop Mission
World Wide Workshop develops applications for learning with technology that combine game mechanics and social networking to empower youth to be inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. Our programs transform education by connecting youth to learning, community engagement and economic development through game production.
The Workshop is proud to respond to President Obama’s call to action: Educate to Innovate and Change the Equation in STEM Education. Committed to improving quality education opportunities for all youth in USA and the world, we work with forward-thinking leaders, corporations, school systems, universities, and research centers to enrich existing formal and non-formal education systems with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities.
2. Non-Discrimination Policy:
World Wide Workshop does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the ground of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion or disability in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits of any of its programs and activities or in employment therein, whether carried out by World Wide Workshop directly or through a contractor or any other entity with whom the World Wide Workshop arranges to carry out its programs and activities.
3. Problems Addressed: Closing the Digital Literacy Gap
Today, rural and poor communities throughout the nation face tough challenges in education and economic development. Compounding these challenges is limited access to technological innovations and advances. As the world rockets forward into a so-called "knowledge economy," poor and underserved communities encounter two digital divides.
The first divide is defined by access or lack of access to high-speed Internet. The second divide is defined by digital literacy-that is, the ability to create, not just consume, digital media. Digital literacy enables true participation in the power and potential of the new Internet.
In 2006, the World Wide Workshop established the Globaloria program to help close the digital literacy gaps that exist in the United States and worldwide.
4. Philosophy: Learning-by-Doing for Real-World Application
Our programs are based on Constructionist educational philosophy, grounded in decades of research by social scientists Seymour Papert and (World Wide Workshop founder) Idit Harel Caperton. Unlike top-down teaching styles requiring memorization of facts, Constructionism calls for the creation of public digital entities. Through publicly shared, long-term projects that are complex, computational, immersive, and innovative, children learn how to learn and how to think about thinking. Online open workshop settings facilitate syntonic learning - or learning by doing. Twenty years of research have shown that constructivist programs result in deeper forms of learning, cognitive integration, and improved approaches to learning how to learn.
Our programs are unique among educational digital literacy initiatives in that they are the first to delineate and prioritize the most complex constructionist activities.
5. Innovation: Using Social Media Technologies and Gaming for Educational Transformation
Interactive digital communication increasingly defines the way our world works. It's the way businesses operate, the way we access services, the way we are entertained, and the way we participate as citizens locally, nationally, and globally. Understanding digital communication tools and putting them to work effectively - achieving digital literacy - is essential for success in the 21st Century.
We must teach young learners to read and construct their own interactive digital media systems: textual and graphical media, photography and video media, animation and game media, and more. Blogs, wikis, and social network platforms, utilized in a new educational paradigm, encourage young people to imagine, create, process, and share ideas and expertise as they create artifacts and tell stories.
The World Wide Workshop is the first organization to create a program that does all this, teaching proficiency in both the "new writing" together/combined with the new formula of participatory, collaborative project-based learning. The program is Globaloria, and it achieves its educational purpose by empowering young learners to engage in social and collaborative game construction using open-source Web 2.0 platforms. Globaloria is where social networks and gaming meet social responsibility and education. It is 21st century literacy for 21st century success.
5. Impact: Contemporary Learning Abilities
Through construction, interaction and play our programs empower youth with the highly sophisticated and complex skills required to be productive, successful, 21st Century citizens; what we call the essential contemporary learning abilities inherent in digital literacy:
Globaloria's Six Contemporary Learning Abilities with Technology
- Invention, progression, and completion of an original digital project idea (for an educational web- game or interactive simulation)
- Project-based learning through online project management in a wiki-based networked environment
- Publishing and distribution of self-created digital media
- Social-based learning, participation and exchange in a networked environment
- Information- based learning, purposeful search, exploration
- Surfing websites and web applications
6. Research: Assessing our impact
World Wide Workshop researchers use a variety of methods to evaluate the cognitive, behavioral, and affective impact of our programs. Researchers implement a complex and eclectic methodology, which they consider to be a pilot in and of itself, including the use of:
- Pre- and post- program surveys
- Real-time statistical and empirical tracking of activities and behaviors
- Case studies
- Evaluations of work product
- Evaluations of wiki participation
- Interviews, conference calls, and email exchanges with educators
- In-person visits
- Videos and transcriptions from site visits
Data on the programs and the assessment methods inform real-team program enhancements and refinements on an ongoing basis. Our research reports are available upon request. A list of our research partners is located here.