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Making Meaning through Media

Making Meaning through Media


Program Summary

Promoting civic engagement among youth—the ability for students to work together to solve problems in their community—is paramount to improving education in Los Angeles. In order to meet this goal by allowing youth to have a voice in how and what is taught, GameDesk Institute—an interactive curriculum creator and digital publisher—is proposing to sponsor a 1-day event for middle and high school youth in the Los Angeles area called Making Meaning with Media Day (M3). On M3, youth will participate in groups with mentors to critically evaluate online educational resources with the end goal of developing curricula focused on issues of civic engagement in their community that will then be provided to teachers in their schools.

This summer event will connect youth with mentors in evaluating web-based tools and developing curricula around topics that interest them. Youth-created curriculum can be a powerful way to engage students in caring about education, and an even better way for youth to disseminate their interests. The goal of this event is to not only provide and disseminate curricula made for-youth-by-youth, but to also show youth that they can participate and make decisions about what they are learning. This will promote youth’s social responsibility through the promotion of critical thinking, civic awareness, and leadership.

All developed curricula from this day will be featured on GameDesk’s and AT&T Portal Educade, which shares learning content with a national audience of educators, students, and parents. Additionally, M3 will utilize Mozilla's Open Badge Program to award participants badges during the day. These badges, along with the quality in students’ presentations for their curricula will be used to award one group with the best curriculum idea.


Preparation for the event:

GameDesk staff will prepare a list of 20 web-based tools that have educational potential that youth can evaluate and create curriculum around. These tools will cover a variety of topics that have educational potential and tie to an area of civic engagement such as teaching youth about water conservation in their community.

The primary organizer will be responsible for finding a location, ordering the food and drinks, and putting together materials to announce the event. These announcements will be made through social media (GameDesk’s twitter, blog, Facebook, and website) as well as through partner organizations such as MOSTE and SMASH Academy. Participants will be selected and notified. GameDesk will provide youth in need metro day passes.

Day of Event:

7 am- Team at GameDesk will set up for the event.

8-8:30 am- Students arrive, have breakfast, and receive their name tags. This will provide an opportunity for youth to meet each other and meet with the instructors.

8:30am-9 am- Welcome and opening talks to focus and inspire the participants for the day. Mentors will be introduced to the youth and the logistics of how youth will work together will be explained.

9am-12 pm- Team formation/Team naming/ Ideation session with mentors. Youth will be pre-assigned to teams based on age and information gathered on their registration forms about their background and interests. Each team will have eight youth and one mentor. Mentors will help youth set up their own account in Mozilla's Digital BackPack so they can earn badges throughout the day. Teams will be given a workspace which will include all the supplies needed for the day including – large poster paper and sticky notes for the creative brainstorming process, markers, pencils, paper, iPads and or laptops. Food and drink will be available throughout the day for all participants.

12pm- Lunch will be provided and youth will have a chance to mingle and meet other participants and mentors.

1pm-2 pm- Participants continue working in groups prepare to present their ideas to the rest of the participants.

2pm-3pm – Groups present their work and winners are announced. The winning team of the day will be featured on the GameDesk Educade portal, blog, and website. Participants on the winning team will be interviewed about their experience during the day, their career aspirations, and their comments on promoting civic engagement through digital apps.

4:00pm- GameDesk team will clean up

Post Event Documentation and Dissemination:

The curriculum materials the teams have come up with will be taken back to the team at GameDesk where they will be refined and made available to a national audience on GameDesk’s Educade portal. The community of Educade is made up of teachers nation-wide who comment on curricula featured on the website as well as post their own curricula. A video of the day’s activities and interviews with the winning participants of M3 will be interviewed and featured on the website. Excerpts of youths' experiences during the event will be published.

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