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Summer of Making and Connecting with Project:Connect

Summer of Making and Connecting with Project:Connect

You wish these projects were happening in your community. Better yet, imagine if your own K-12 learning pathway included classes like claymation, web development, app design, online etiquette, online civic activism, and digital journalism. How about creating your own hoax website, or starting a movement to end cyberbulling among peers. What might you be doing now if those skills were part of your toolset?

As summer winds down, our Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition winners are wrapping up local hands-on events for youth who collaborated and competed to build a better web through activities such as hackathons, digital learning labs, maker spaces, badge development workshops, and digital journalism workshops. All the events were part of the Summer of Making and Connecting where dozens of organizations engaged young people, parents, teachers and others in creating learning opportunities designed for our times. This work is based on principles of Connected Learning—learning that is equitable, social, and participatory—which gives “young people hands-on experience creating, testing, and investigating ways to make using the web a better place to learn, connect, make, contribute, and share.”

Over the next two weeks, HASTAC will be hosting webinars featuring our 16 Project:Connect winners and we'll post the recordings here online so others can find inspiration for youth programs and implement them in their own communities. Take a look below at the variety of programming offered by 16 museums, libraries and nonprofit institutions involved in Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming -- and be sure to visit or join their groups here on HASTAC so you can follow them in the weeks to come:

1. The Clay Studio’s Claymobile Outreach Claymation Learning Labs

In three locations throughout Philadelphia, the Claymobile engaged more than 200 local disadvantaged teens aged 13-17 in web-based Claymation video projects that explore themes of good online citizenship, social responsibility, diversity and collaboration. Students will collaborate to create short Claymation films on issues of digital citizenship like cyber-bullying and online etiquette, and then will learn about safe and responsible online communication as they share their videos on the Claymobile’s YouTube and social media pages.

Clay Studio’s Claymobile Outreach Claymation on HASTAC

2. University of Arizona Foundation and The Feminist Wire’s LoveMaps

LoveMaps hosted two workshops for middle-schoolers, during which they developed LoveMaps for Social Justice using GIS technology. Students learned about digital activism, created a Facebook page, and began working on projects (e.g., articles, interviews, videos) for publication at The Feminist Wire. The workshops included both classroom learning and a walking field trip to the University of Arizona Women's Plaza of Honor, where the participants used their GIS units to "map' locations on the plaza. The cornerstone of the project was the collaborative creation, production, and use of LoveMaps, a GIS social app that enables participants to locate, follow, and learn from positive examples of social justice.

The Feminist Wire
LoveMaps for Middle School on HASTAC

3. GlobalGirl Media’s Summer Training Academies

GlobalGirl Media (GGM) developed the authentic voice and media literacy of teenage girls in under-served communities by teaching them to create and share digital journalism designed to ignite civic activism and social change. By linking young women internationally with seasoned reporters, educators and mediamakers, GGM empowers girls to make media that matters, improves media literacy, and encourages the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women. GlobalGirl Media currently has projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, South Africa, and Morocco and are expanding to other countries.

Global Girl Media
GlobalGirl Media Chicago Summer Training Academy on HASTAC

4. New York Public Radio (WNYC)’s “That Could Be Your Sister” Design Challenge

WNYC’s youth media program, Radio Rookies, and the youth leadership organization Global Kids hosted a “That Could Be Your Sister” Design Challenge for 50 New York teenagers at WNYC/New York Public Radio’s The Greene Space. “That Could Be Your Sister” was created by Radio Rookie Temitayo Fagbenle, who has reported extensively on the problem of sexual cyberbullying. After her first radio story aired, Temitayo and Radio Rookies created a Facebook page and Twitter handle to educate and spread positive activism around the issue.  As part of the Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming, Radio Rookies and Global Kids hosted a “That Could Be Your Sister Design Challenge” fto take the movement one step further to envision a digital tool that would allow for better reporting and awareness of sexual cyberbullying and provide resources and support for victims.  Teens spent a day working in teams to seek solutions for a problem that leaves many girls feeling isolated and alone.

That Could Be Your Sister (Facebook)
That Could Be Your Sister Design Challenge on HASTAC

5. Colorado State University’s Making Equity

“Making Equity” was a free event at Colorado State University for 4th-8th graders and their families. Planned and co-facilitated with a diverse group of fourth-graders and co-sponsored by the CSU Writing Project and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, the event was guided by the principles of making and connected learning. Approximately 100 participants engaged in hands-on activities intended to deepen understanding of the intersections between civic literacies, multimodal practices, and the marginalized history of Latinos in Northern Colorado. Students produced media projects highlighting underrepresented history, mentored each other and adults about the uses of technology and making for civic purposes, and created artifacts to be displayed in the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery for future youth to build upon and learn from.

Colorado State University Writing Project
Making Equity: A Day Long Pop-Up Makerspace for Elementary Youth in Northern Colorado on HASTAC

6. Racquet Up Detroit’s RU Connected

The 2013 RU Connected technology camp consisted of 8 full days of activities (9am to 2:30pm) spread over a three-week period, starting Wednesday June 26th and culminating on Tuesday July 9th with an Open House to celebrate campers’ learning and hard work. The camp was held in a classroom space at the Northwest Activities Center on Meyers Road in Detroit, Michigan where Racquet Up Detroit (RUD) has its headquarters. Organized by Racquet Up Detroit, a nonprofit youth development program serving Detroit public-school students, RU Connected is an intensive two-week summer technology camp focused on creating powerful learning experiences that are hands-on, social, curiosity-driven, and fun. RU Connected introduced 14 Detroit rising 8th graders to a range of free web-based tools – for screencasting, searching, annotating, photo editing, collaborative writing, and more – and explored their potential to turbocharge learning and creativity around the theme of “Deception: Seeking and Speaking the Truth.”

RU Connected 2013
RU Connected on HASTAC

7. Digital Harbor Foundation’s WebSlam

WebSlam is an intensive, two-week long experience to develop real-world skills in web development and then put those skills to work to help others. Through the aid of tech coaches and direct instruction, youth participants (irrespective of prior web development background) learn the basics of HTML, CSS, and PHP by developing for the WordPress platform. Hosted by the Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore, WebSlam offers direct instruction to youth ages 13-19 who learn how to solve the needs of actual clients (nonprofits) in need of web solutions.

WebSlam on HASTAC

8. Filipino American Human Services’ Connected LYFE

Connected LYFE is a digital storytelling project designed to connect young people through their shared experiences in a way that is compelling, creative, and safe. LYFE, (Leading Youth to Find Empowerment) is a Filipino American youth organization and part of FAHSI (Filipino American Human Services, Inc.) based out of Queens, New York that welcomes all young people from all backgrounds. This project encourages young people who may be isolated geographically, generationally, or socially to connect with others to find strength, camaraderie, and community. Youth contributed to an online space in which their media creations became an entry point to discuss issues pertinent to them, such as high school, college, immigration, family, identity, health and sexuality, and bullying.

Filipino American Human Services, Inc. (FAHSI)

Connected LYFE on HASTAC

9. Neighborhood Associates Corporation’s Our Community, Our Environment

Our Community, Our Environment (OCOE) was a 6-day program for youth ages 13-18 in the Kenilworth/Parkside area of Washington, D.C., who organized into teams and created a mobile application to increase community awareness about local natural resources. The entire process was youth driven and adult guided. Neighborhood Associates Corporation partnered with Community Neighborhood Renaissance Partners and Environmental Justice Climate Change Coalition to create this innovative summer program for young people using a connected learning model based on student interests, innovation, and transformation. The project was designed to empower civically engaged youth with the technical skills to advocate for and promote positive activities and resources in their community.

Our Community Our Environment
Our Community, Our Environment Digital Lab on HASTAC

10. Catholic Social Services Out of School Time Programs’ Cyber Cadets Summer Workshop

For years, middle school students from the afterschool programs at St. Martin de Porres in North Philadelphia and DePaul School in Germantown have feuded due to slight differences in socio-economic status. In an effort to bring these youth together in hopes of mending this relationship, the Cyber Cadets Summer Workshop is an anti-bullying, community-building campaign developed and led by the youth who will participate in the program. Located in Philadelphia, Cyber Cadets Summer Workshop will offer a hands-on learning experience that will develop a population of middle school kids who are versed in positive online etiquette. Sixty children from 11 to 14 years of age in both of these afterschool programs will work online collaboratively to fight against cyber bullying in their communities. Participants from rival schools will join together for social face-to-face events that include team-building activities where youth are able to put anti-bullying efforts into real world practice. Participants will be informed about the dangers of cyber bullying and given a forum for developing strategies to combat it through an Internet campaign against cyber bullying in their communities.

Cyber Cadets
Cyber Cadets Summer Workshop on HASTAC

11. Jacob Burns Film Center’s Reel Change: Community Vision

Reel Change: Community Visions is a collaborative learning experience where students imagine, share and create media that describes a new vision for a community they value. During this interactive workshop, high school students articulate their understanding of community, develop a vision for their neighborhood or issue, and use collaborative mechanisms of the internet to create infographics and advocacy videos to inspire change. Students learn composition, camera work, shooting, editing and data visualization. They also learned about best practices of social media, privacy, and source acknowledgement.

Burns Film Center
Reel Change: Community Visions on HASTAC

12. Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation’s Connected Messages

The mission of the Free Library of Philadelphia is to advance learning, guide learning and inspire curiosity. Its vision is to build an enlightened community dedicated to lifelong learning. For Project:Connect, we supported a teen and youth maker program in 5 neighborhood locations in some of Philadelphia's most underserved communities. Youth ages 10-18 came together at five Free Library sites to participate in the Connected Messages project, creating digitally augmented postcard murals. This project integrated technological and traditional literacy with art to spread messages of bravery, acceptance, and identity. Connected Messages is an opportunity for youth to create and share their objects and ideas with their community and through the web platform, communicating their messages across the city and around the world. Their work will open a dialogue that stretches between neighborhoods, communities, and the web through an open access institution: the public library.

Free Library Philadelphia on HASTAC

13. Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion’s Digital Media for Social Justice

Digital Media for Social Justice in Detroit hosted fifty youth from area high schools who came together for a weekend retreat in August to learn about team building, mentor training, leadership training, and how to use digital and social media. Youth discussed positive and negative ways to use the Internet and social media. They brainstormed ways to use social media (particularly Facebook and YouTube) to address issues that are limiting equity or opportunity in their schools or communities. Through facilitated discussion, youth shared examples of ways that they have used the web either constructively or destructively, and how they can use it constructively in the future. Participants used the skills they learned to create multimedia campaigns to address issues of discrimination or disparities that they see in their schools and communities such as bullying, religious intolerance, sexual orientation discrimination, and teen sexual health.

Michigan Round Table
Digital Media for Social Justice on HASTAC

14. Appalachian Media Institute’s Digital Citizenship Lab

Appalachian Media Institute will host a month-long production lab with youth interns, aged 14-22, from southeastern Kentucky counties. Located in Whitesburg, KY, the organization will provide equipment, training, and mentorship to rural interns who want to explore the realities of limited broadband access in the coalfields. In particular, youth interns will create multi-media pieces that look more closely at the educational and economic impacts we face by our lack of high-speed Internet availability.

AppalShop AMI
AMI’s Digital Citizenship Lab on HASTAC

15. ThreeSixty Journalism’s Journalism and Communications Lab

ThreeSixty Journalism, a youth journalism program serving teens ages 12-19 in Minnesota, will host a summer journalism and communications lab and public teach-in focused on issues involving teens and technology, specifically privacy and good citizenship. At a workshop held at the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul, Minnesota, 12 to 16 teens ages 15-18 will collaborate with professional journalists to develop articles, blog posts, video and podcasts exploring these issues. A small group of teens will work with an adult programmer to develop ProtectMyRep, an online tool that teens can use to assess and repair their on-line reputations, and a dozen youth volunteers from ThreeSixty will learn how to use the tool and share it with other teens at their schools and the teach-in.

16. Eyebeam’s Digital Day Camp 2013

Located in New York City, Digital Day Camp 2013 (DDC13) is a four-week summer intensive program in arts and technology for teenagers, providing a unique, creative, and hands-on learning experience in gaming, electronics, coding, media, and music. Students will produce final projects that incorporate their new knowledge of hardware, software, and web tools and present these projects to family and friends at a public presentation/reception at Eyebeam, as part of Mozilla’s Maker Party 2013. As students learn to create their projects, they will document each step (using such online tools as Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr and github), and then, under the guidance of their teachers, post in a personal blog, thus also improving their awareness of and comfort with online sharing and appropriate online behavior, promoting a positive online reputation, and clearly defining what kind of data is safe to post.

Digital Day Camp on HASTAC


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