Game-based Civics and News Literacy Curriculum Expanded with Knight Foundation Support

New York - The World Wide Workshop will expand its efforts to teach civics and news literacy through a game-based curriculum, with a new $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The support will triple the number of students participating in the research-driven curriculum in West Virginia – bringing the total to 250 – and extend it other middle and high school students in rural and undeserved communities. Funding will also help improve and strengthen the curriculum, which is called Globaloria.

"Students across the country too often find that their civics and social studies curricula are dry and irrelevant to their lives -- if their schools even provide effective civics education.  Globaloria presents an educational model that is relevant to today's generation of students, allowing them to analyze, design and build their own web-based games to 'learn by doing,'"said Jessica Goldfin, Knight Foundation journalism program associate. The grant is the World Wide Workshop’s second from Knight Foundation for this project. “Civic and news media literacy is crucial for youth to become engaged citizens," said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, founder and president of the World Wide Workshop Foundation. "In our rapidly changing media landscape, videogames have strong communicative power, providing an increasingly relevant platform to expand our knowledge and raise awareness around important issues affecting our nation. Our Globaloria work shows that when students learn to be the engineers and 'writers,' and not just 'readers' of games about civics and news, they develop the critical mind needed to both consume and create media intelligently, which are core skills for active participation in today's democracy.”

Produced and launched by the World Wide Workshop in 2006, Globaloria, is the first-of-itskind social learning network for designing and programming web-games. It includes a scalable network of programmable wikis and blogs, game programming tutorials, game content resources and a customizable self-paced curriculum with model implementations and alignments to curriculum standards. Globaloria transforms education by merging playful learning, technical and computational skills into a rigorous academic curriculum. It equips students with top tech skills, and at the same time, prepares them for college-level studies, 21st-century citizenship, and careers in the global knowledge economy. Instead of separate silos for vocational and technical education, academic subjects, and college preparation, Globaloria combines them all into a challenging, year-long project of approximately 150 hours, similar to computer gaming and software industry workplace practices.

“We believe that playing games (reading) and making games (writing) is the new literacy. What makes Globaloria a unique program is that it embraces a set of guiding and interdisciplinary principles that use social media technology and computational tools for project-based learning. What makes Globaloria is successful is our strong partnerships with government, education departments, private and public foundations, local business, industry and institutes of higher education, and a culture of transparency and collaboration that we bring into schools,” says Dr. Harel Caperton.

The World Wide Workshop Foundation (www.WorldWideWorkshop.org) is a global educational foundation for developing 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 foundation has been proud to respond to US 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 centres to enrich existing formal and non-formal education systems with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (www.knightfoundation.org) advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

CONTACT:
David Lowenstein
646-425-3020
David@WorldWideWorkshop.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.