Monday, March 22, 2010

Globaloria: Preparing Youth To Become Serious Game Makers

Serious Games empowering youth to create and collaborate online

The most active network of Globaloria, MyGLife.org is comprised of an open architecture of educational, programmable websites and related wikis that offer more than 100 educational activities, simulations and tutorials to play, learn, explore and contribute new ideas online.

Via: World Wide Workshop Foundation

Following my prior posting GDC 10 and Serious Games Breakthroughs, where I report on Globaloria STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Games Competition, here are some further details on the Globaloria Program.

The Globaloria Program was established by the World Wide Workshop Foundation in the spring of 2006. A network of educational, programmable websites and related wikis and Blogs, the Globaloria Program prepares young people (13 and older) to use technology, specifically to become makers of interactive games and simulations, for their own personal and professional development and for the social and economic benefit of their communities.

As a result of participation in the Globaloria Program, secondary school and university students from underserved communities develop the expertise and self-confidence needed to become active global cybercitizens in today's increasingly connected and digital world.

The Globaloria Program is comprised of multiple platforms, each of which has its own network, themes, and active communities. In 2006, with the support of Cisco Systems, the Foundation launched the first of these platforms, My Global Life, a game developers' "starter-kit"™.

MyGLife.org: Empowering Youth to Create and Collaborate Online

Currently the most active network of Globaloria, My Global Life (www.MyGLife.org), is designed to help youth 13 and older:

1. Learn Internet media technology and game-development skills;

2. Hone professional and life skills;

3. Experience positive virtual communication with other communities; and

4. Foster social change

Through an open architecture of websites and related wikis and blogs, MyGLife participants learn to analyze, design and build web-based games and simulations that address globally relevant and social issues of their choice and passion. Topics include climate change, ecology, water, community services, technology skills, peace and more.

My Science Life: A Social Network for Science and Technology Learning

My Science Life - a social network and virtual program for learning how to design and develop Animated Illustrations, Interactive Simulations and Sim Games in Flash

One unique aspect of the MySLife program is that it is completely virtual. Students and teachers from SEED schools in Trinidad, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Russia have joined Schlumberger volunteers from all around the world in a unique online learning community. Almost every continent and time zone is represented! Participants come from very different backgrounds and have a wide range of skills, including technical and English proficiencies.

Because of this unique global collaboration, the program is not like a typical school course! There IS NOT a traditional instructor who runs the show, giving out assignments and grades. Instead there is a Facilitator who is a highly motivated co-learner, completing the course along with the participants. The Facilitator helps to foster communication, highlight great work, find and share solutions, and generally inspire and help the group along in their self-learning. It is a Collaborative Social Network: everyone contributes as a learner and facilitator.

The MySLife Global Climate Website offers a comprehensive set of tutorials, tools and resources to help learn fundamental design, programming and project planning skills for use while building original animated illustrations, interactive simulations, or sim-games -- simple or complex, small or large.

My Health Life 

As participants in the My Health Life network, students become the makers of interactive web-based games to share their knowledge on health issues such as nutrition, exercise, HIV/AIDs and malaria.

My Health Life is the latest thematically-focused Globaloria network. Like My Global Life and My Science Life, it uses open-source applications of social media technology and game production, to enhance learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, and an understanding of the world in economically-disadvantaged and technologically-underserved communities.

The first pilot for MyHLife was conducted in New Orleans in the Summer of 2008, in collaboration with Rethink, an initiative founded in 2006 in response to Hurricane Katrina - with the purpose of helping low-income young people whose lives have been devastated by Katrina to: (1) develop the insight, vision, and voice to move from being "powerless victim" to resilient, capable achievers and leaders; and (2) rethink and bring about improvements to the public schools.