Knight Foundation Awards $950,000 in New Gaming Tech Initiative

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a three-year, $950,000 grant to the World Wide Workshop to bring its Globaloria learning network, an innovative platform that uses gaming to teach students the digital skills they need to succeed in school, college and careers, to San Jose and Silicon Valley communities.

A 2008 study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 97 percent of all youths between the ages of 12 and 17 play digital games and that "youth who have...civic gaming experiences are more likely to be civically engaged in the offline world." Globaloria teaches participants how to conduct Internet research and use social networking tools to design original Web-based games around educational and social challenges.

In San Jose and Silicon Valley, more than five thousand youth will use the Globaloria network and digital curriculum to form teams and create games, record their thoughts and chart their progress on personal blogs, and engage in collaborative learning using industry-standard and open-source Web 2.0 programming tools. In addition, educators and facilitators will be trained online and on-site to master the competencies needed to effectively engage youth.

"At the core of the new civic-engagement literacy is the knowledge of how to navigate digital networks and make games, not just play them. Bringing Globaloria into Silicon Valley is a unique opportunity to demonstrate how it works to inform, engage, and educate community members in a variety of school and non-school settings," said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, president and founder of the World Wide Workshop. "Globaloria presents a powerful technology-driven participation model that is relevant to today's generation. It allows them to conceptualize, design, and program their own Web games on important topics and to engage in civics by 'learning by doing.' "

"New Tech Initiative to Help Engage and Empower San Jose and Silicon Valley Community." John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press Release 07/13/2011.