Pursuitery hosted free, online classes in 2014 – Camp Minecraft, Coding with Scratch, Phonar Nation and Webmaking. Through these courses, young people connected with a mentor, shared projects with new friends, earned digital badges and earned cool prizes. There were multiple online sessions each week, and mentors were available any time to provide support and answer questions.
Camp Minecraft provided a friendly and open virtual space where kids played Minecraft together. Minecraft is an extremely popular video game about building and exploring. Camp Minecraft offers both a space to play as well as experts who can help kids solve various challenges. The camp only requires a valid Minecraft account; access to the server is free.
Coding with Scratch teaches students how to program interactive stories, games and animation. Scratch is a popular way for young people to learn to code, and millions worldwide have been making and sharing projects online in more than 50 languages.
Phonar Nation teaches students how to tell stories through photographs using any type of camera, be it iPhone, iPod or digital camera. Professional photographers and photojournalists provide feedback in real-time via social media.
Pursuitery and Mozilla Webmaker partnered to offer three programs. Build an App with AppMaker makes it simple and fun to create mobile apps without any need for coding. Make a Meme & Hack the Web with X-Ray Goggles teaches students how to use basic X-Ray Goggles to look under the hood of a website and see the role of html in creating the websites. Turn Gifs into a Music Video teaches you how to use Popcorn Maker to turn your favorite Gifs into a remixable Music Video.
All programs employed online methods for feedback and sharing, and offered an opportunity for students to gain experience with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) skills in a fun and supportive environment. Participants in the classes worked alongside peers, youth mentors and experts. Young people learned how to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Students who completed the projects will earn digital badges. Coding with Scratch and Phonar Nation also award weekly prizes, including fun photography and coding gadgets.
The Connected Learning Alliance is a project of the New Venture Fund, a nonprofit public charity that incubates new and innovative public interest projects and gr ant-making programs. More information at CLAlliance.org.
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