Blog Post

January snapshots of Digital Media & Learning projects

News and updates on our Digital Media & Learning projects:

CivicsLab, a 2009 winner, and was recently spotlighted by the MacArthur Foundation:

For Laura Staniland, 22, the connection between civic action and digital media is a fact of life. At age 16, she learned online that she could get free concert tickets by registering people to vote, which she promptly did. Later, while visiting a message board, she became interested in a local campaign, and soon after showed up at the candidate’s headquarters, ready to volunteer. 

Now a web designer and college student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh,  Staniland used those events as inspiration for, a site where 9- to 13-year-olds will be able to make public policy decisions in a virtual world that simulates the southwestern Pennsylvania area where they live."

Laura has also updated the CivicsLab project page on HASTAC:
Digital Ocean is a 2009 winner, and will be featured in an upcoming UCTV episode Jan. 18, 2010. (Sources tell us that they will also be panelists at SBSX in the spring. Congratulations! Look them up if you're in Austin: )

"Learn more about DigitalOcean, a virtual commons being developed by UCSB's Environmental Media Initiative, which is working to create global communities using new media to advance ocean sustainability and protect ocean ecosystems."

Visit this site for more information:

Tecno-Tzotzil, a 2009 winner, has posted another wonderful update on their work in Chiapas, Mexico, with good news about sharing Spanish-speaking lesson plans with Mexico's 770,000 Sugar users (open-source community).

"Control is a difficult issue to handle in classrooms -too little may lead to anarchy, and too much might mean that kids do not have enough leg room to take their own paths or express their creativity."

Read more here:

Playpower, a 2009 winner, has been busy putting up tutorials on their site:

"The Playpower Foundation supports affordable, effective, fun learning games. These tutorials are for anyone who wants to create graphics, music, or entire games. If you have any questions or you'd like to volunteer, please join us at

To view the tutorials, visit:

Both MILLEE, a 2008 winner, and Playpower were (are?) in India to host gaming workshops:

DevInfo Gameworks, a 2009 winner, will be visiting with M-Ubuntu, also a 2009 winner, in South Africa during January to collaborate. M-Ubuntu will also be hosting the M-Ubuntu Mobile Conference in South Africa on 18-19 February 2010 in Mafikeng, South Africa.

Women Aloud Videoblogging for Empowerment (WAVE), a 2009 winner, recently completed training with 50 women representing each state in India:

"We finally met most of the 50 girls attending the training, whom we had talked to and emailed with for over a month, at Lar de Estudantes, a lovely dormitory in the pretty Altinho hill area of Panjim. I felt a mix of emotions -- that of elation, seeing the diverse faces in the group, mixed with pride from accomplishing the task of recruiting from every state in our vast country. The girls were very quiet as we briefly introduced the team and answered some of their immediate questions, which worried us a little, but we chalked it down to the girls being tired from their long train journeys. As it turned out days later, this was certainly the case because once the girls became more settled, we never ran short of conversation."

Participatory Chinatown, a 2009 winner, continues to post enlightening and helpful entries about data collection and applying 3-D textures to their game:


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