These are projects that get young people and classrooms participating in the digital maker movement: Current or aspiring videogame designers and videographers have about a month to submit their creations to three different contests: The National STEM Videogame Challenge, Whyville's game design contest, and Trend Micro's What's Your Story video producing contest. Design a videogame Videogame … [Read more...] about Designing students: Check out these contests (learning opps)!
Imagine a game in which a child not only discovers, collects, creates, and/or customizes 2- and 3-dimensional art objects that s/he then shares with fellow player-creators, but also creates his/her own levels of play. Imagine the literacies players could be developing in the process of playing such a game, including social literacy, through sharing, "liking," and reviewing each other's … [Read more...] about What we know & don’t know about kids’ online socializing: Key study
You're an avatar in Whyville (a virtual world with some 1.5 million users aged 8-16) and you're tired of tweaking your (design of your) avatar, so you're thinking about focusing more on earning clams (virtual currency) and building a career – maybe even a real-world one. So here's an interesting opportunity: Because Whyville now has its own power grid, you can help manage it by figuring out the … [Read more...] about Trying out a real career in a virtual world
Everloop, a new social site aimed at kids 8-13, is not just another virtual world. Or social network site. It's not a kids' Facebook or alternative to Whyville.net or LEGO Universe, contrary to what's being reported (see Mashable). But it's also not just an online space. What it is depends on who's looking at it. To kids and parents, it's like a virtual-world and/or social-network mall that's … [Read more...] about Virtual world ‘mall’ now has online-safety ‘store’
It's definitely not a flashy video production, but if you're interested in learning about a virtual world that 6.4 million kids aged 8-15 (68% girls, average age 12.5) like because it challenges them in math and science and expects them to be smart, watch this interview about Whyville.net at Discover magazine. Founder and CEO of Whyville parent Numedeon Inc., Jim Bower – who is also a professor of … [Read more...] about The learning power of a virtual world