The Internet is fascinating for a multitude of reasons – it offers new opportunities for communication and networking, it has great potential to inspire good deeds worldwide, and it’s quickly moving education forward in exciting directions. But with such a powerful tool comes the need to understand how to use it. Enter Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming
and its 5th annual digital media and learning competition.
Driven through a series of hands-on events from July through September, young adults, programmers, designers and educators gathered to collaborate and compete to build a better Web. Activities included hackathons, maker spaces, digital journalism classes and communication labs – all with the goal to rethink approaches to learning, and to empower young adults in the digital age.
Earlier this summer, Project:Connect announced the winners of the competition. Sixteen museums, libraries and nonprofit organizations were awarded a total of $150,000 to help engage young adults with the skills and tools they need to make the Web a safer, more civil and empowering place.
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation
, administered by Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC
), and carried out in collaboration with Facebook
, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)
, and Mozilla
, this competition has produced new initiatives that we’re excited to share with you on A Platform for Good.
Here’s a look at three of the winners making changes in the digital space.
1. The Clay Studio’s Claymobile Outreach Claymation Learning Labs
In three locations throughout Philadelphia, the Claymobile will engage 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.
2. Digital Harbor Foundation’s WebSlam
Hosted by the Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore, WebSlam is an intensive, week-long experience where students will 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, 20 to 30 youth participants ages 13-19 will learn the basics of HTML, CSS, and PHP through developing for the WordPress platform in order to solve the needs of actual clients (nonprofits) who are in need of web solutions.
3. 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.
Check out the full list of winners from Project:Connect's Digital Media and Learning competition here
. Cover image courtesy of Flickr