Celebrating student excellence in learning game design

communities / Article

Knight supports Globaloria, a project of the World Wide Workshop, to advance new and innovative ways of teaching digital literacy and community engagement to students. Here, Idit Harel Caperton, founder and President, World Wide Workshop, and Judith Kleinberg, program director/San Jose/Silicon Valley, Knight Foundation write about the first annual Globey Awards, which celebrated excellence in learning game design. Above: Globey Finalists from The Levin Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley.

Yesterday was an exciting day. Globaloria students and educators, their families and community leaders gathered for a special awards ceremony. Teams of students from San Jose’s Oak Grove School District and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, who have spent hundreds of hours over the course of the school year developing educational video games through the Globaloria curriculum, were recognized for their outstanding original programming and design of video games at the annual Globey Awards.

The Globeys celebrate excellence in learning game design and teamwork. A structured year-long process motivates students to dig deeper into their learning, and develop real-world digital literacy skills. Reflecting the rigorous nature of the program, students are judged on: 1) the technical quality of their game, 2) its educational content, 3) the quality of the original artwork and animations, 4) teamwork, 5) research skills, and 6) overall production.

"The World Wide Workshop has been a fantastic partner this year. Globaloria has propelled students into the most exciting 21st-century world of learning," said Manny Barbara, former superintendent of the Oak Grove School District and currently the Vice President of Advocacy and Leadership at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Barbara served as the emcee of this year’s Globeys.

Each of the winning games is published on http://www.Globaloria.org, enabling visitors and aspiring game designers to learn from students’ original ideas. What’s important is that every student who participates in Globaloria becomes a producer of original multimedia content, connects with civic issues in their community, benefits from the resulting boost in critical competencies—including programming, online research skills and the effective use of Web 2.0 tools —and acquires valuable self-confidence needed to thrive in today’s global digital economy.

This year’s finalists and winners in the San Jose/Silicon Valley community Globeys showcased student learning, creativity and innovation in history, civics, math and engineering—and you can play the games now on the Globaloria website! The winning game was Math Sports, created by Team Barcelona (students Cassandra Fonseca, Huy Le, Manuel Bravo, Emily Mondragon and Kevin Martinez) of the Christopher Elementary School. Math Sports, a multi-level game, helps players learn about square roots through sports simulations.

Additional teams of Silicon Valley students were selected as finalists in this year’s awards:

·      Journey of Gladius – created by Team Roman Numerals (Callahan Boronkay, Joshua Kwon and Victoria Edwards) of the AdVENTURE STEM Program at the Herman Intermediate School who integrated Globaloria into their world history curriculum. Players of this game experience the journey of a gladiator in ancient Rome.

·      The Roman GamesTeam Digital Romans (Sven Kuhne, Kyle Montoya and Ethan Moreland), also at the AdVENTURE STEM Program at the Herman Intermediate School, helps players learn about the Colosseum and the ancient Rome more broadly.

·      Math BlocksTeam IDK of the Christopher Elementary School (students Alfredo (Freddy) Mendoza, Vanessa Solis, Rafael Cortez, Melissa Gonzalez, and Nathalie Martinez) created Math Blocks. Players practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division while trying to move blocks into the correct boxes. Don’t forget to look for the hidden objects!

·      Bertha's BIG Adventure – developed by Team Salad (Arturo Roman & Jocelyn Woods) of the Smythe Clubhouse, San Jose/Silicon Valley Boys & Girls Clubs, asks players to help an overweight protagonist become fit and healthy by making smart choices.

·      Gear BoxTeam 1UP (Azael Arroyo, Billy Tongco, Tyler Tran) of the Levin Clubhouse, San Jose/Silicon Valley Boys & Girls Clubs, developed “Gear Box” to educate players about gears, gear rotation and ratios as they try to use gears to repair broken objects.

Yesterday, we also recognized the Silicon Valley community and how it came together to transform the learning experiences of local youth. Knight Foundation, World Wide Workshop, and Silicon Valley Education Foundation partnered last summer on the mission to engage Silicon Valley leaders in promoting digital literacy for low-income students by connecting learning in-and-out of the classroom with future digital citizenship and local work opportunities in IT and STEM-related fields.

The World Wide Workshop invents social learning networks and digital technology applications to help youth and educators participate as leaders in the global knowledge economy. In the past year, it had connected multiple partners throughout Silicon Valley to support the implementation of Globaloria, including Google, the Entertainment Software Association, Adobe, Konami Digital Entertainment, Cisco, Electronic Arts, and a number of other partners.

The joy and success we witnessed at last night’s Globeys is just one indicator that the Globaloria program has the potential for creating long-lasting partnerships across education, business, government and community in Silicon Valley. We’re excited to continue growing our partnership and expanding opportunities for thousands of students in Silicon Valley and beyond.

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