Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

New initiative promotes digital literacy through game design in Silicon Valley

July 13, 2011, 2:22 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

(Students use Globaloria in Austin, Texas., one of the five communities currently using the platform)

More than 5,000 youth and young adults in Silicon Valley schools, youth clubs and community centers will soon become interactive programmers and civic advocates thanks to a $950,000 Knight Foundation grant for an innovative platform that uses games design to teach digital literacy.

Over the next three years, Silicon Valley youth will use the World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria platform to develop, program and blog about their own educational games.  The idea is to leverage social issues and open-source principles to craft collaborative games that provide youth with the digital and media literacy skills they will need to fully engage in the 21st century information age.  The initiative will also connect participants to important civic concepts.

“Globaloria presents a powerful technology-driven participation model that is relevant to today’s Internet-focused 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,’” said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, president and founder of the World Wide Workshop.

The initiative will further provide local instructors with training to help the youth form teams and conduct the online research necessary to effectively design their projects.

World Wide Workshop will be actively seeking new partners to adopt and help support the expansion of the Globaloria game design approach throughout Silicon Valley.  An important first partner is the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.

Knight’s commitment to Globaloria’s virtual learning philosophy reflects our belief that technology is a tool for preparing young people with the digital skills they need to be engaged succeed in the digital age.  To learn more about how Knight promotes informed and engaged communities check out www.knightfoundation.org