Youth Tech

Experts meet with Congress to discuss how afterschool programs that teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through fun, engaging activities such as computer programming, robotics, and 3-D digital animation. The briefing was sponsored by the Coalition for Science After School, the Afterschool Alliance, the National
Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics in conjunction with the Senate and House Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Caucuses and the Senate and House
Afterschool Caucuses. For more information on STEM and afterschool check out:


{September 27, 2006}   Pew Study and Virtual Worlds

Check out the recent post by Kelly Czarnecki on YALSA’s blog about the recently released Pew Internet Study. She brings up some good questions and possible issues about virtual worlds and video/computer games. Are/can virtual worlds and video/computer games addictive? What role within libraries can we maintain within such a conversation and concern?

{September 26, 2006}   What makes progress?

“It is not what you do that counts, it is what you help others do that makes progress.”
— Herman Wells

{September 26, 2006}   More from Media Snackers …

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I just received this via MySpace from DK, my Media Snackers buddy.

Subject MediaSnackers Training Launched

MediaSnackers offers training in new media/technology for young people plus youth professionals. You can check out the quotes below along with the short films from the days.For more information please download this PDF (351k):

Training for youth professionals
“Rarely when you take part in training are you challenged, have fun, take part in stimulating conversations with peers and experience something totally new and different. This is exactly what the MediaSnackers training delivered.I was quite apprehensive at first and afraid that it would all be too technical and off putting but DK’s teaching style was fantastically energetic, interactive and fast paced, the days flew over and left you wanting more, so much so that most of us spent the evenings at home showing off our new skills to our friends and family. The information we received and confidence we developed to apply what we learnt has already had a positive impact on the work I do and has helped me to think about other methods of engaging young people. My role covers the whole of the NE region including two large rural areas which often means young people are excluded from taking part in regional opportunities. The virtual world could offer these young people another layer of involvement that I wouldn’t have considered without this training.I would recommend the MediaSnackers training to anyone and everyone as it will help you to think more creatively about the work you do and to quote another member of the group, ‘It does what it says on the tin’!

The Regional Youth Work Unit were pleased to be able to organise this training in the North East and hope that there will be enough demand to bring DK back again in the not too distant future.”

Kirsty Beeston, Regional Participation Officer, Regional Youth Work Unit

Check out the film from the training:

Training for young people

“DK has a very relaxed and friendly approach to work, creating the perfect environment for learning. He has a very refreshing style which is engaging and easy to follow. The young people that attended his training found him both inspiring and motivational and many have kept in touch with him following the session. He is a professional trainer who delivers beyond expectation.

DK ran a full day’s session on ‘Weblogging & Podcasting’ aimed at a small group of young people. The aim of the session was to equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to become keen bloggers and podcasters! He did just that with many of the young people now regularly blogging and keen to get started on making podcasts with us! I was extremely pleased with the outcomes of the session which had 100% positive feedback from all the attendees. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for training in this area.”

Rachel Wilkinson, Marketing & Communications Officer, Youth Action Network

Check out the film from the training:

: )

{September 25, 2006}   Youth Game Creation

In the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to speak at several conferences, symposia, meetings, etc. about the emergence of gaming activities and programs within our youth serving organizations, especially libraries and technology centers. My passion about this activity lies in the desire of youth to create things, especially games, films and related media. I’ve recommended several tools that an organization can use in offering these learning opportunities with little or no understanding of the film or game making process.

One excellent resource in this topic area is the Youth Digital Arts Cyberschool-YDACS ( YDACS offers a whole suite of online courses and software. One can learn how to create games, digital art, music and manga. They have been working with youth for several years now in creating their own games. In fact, last March they held their first Youth Video Game Design Festival in the San Diego area. Check them out and take a tour of the cyberschool.

There are other similar services, organizations and companies out there that are doing this. Although YDACS is the only one that I have found to provide a set number of courses and some thought out curricula for such an endeavor. Another product that might also be of some use to those interested in exploring this educational service is Game Maker Game Maker has a book and a forum and tuturial sites that help you learn how to use the software to create games. It also is relatively inexpensive.

Then recently Microsoft announced that they will be selling their XNA Game Studio Express program for a $99 annual subscription. It states that it will enable individuals and small teams to more easily create video games using new, optimized cross-platform gaming libraries for Windows and Xbox 360. This beta release targets the development of games for Windows. The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be available this holiday season and will enable development of games which target Windows and upon purchase of a XNA Creators Club subscription, the Xbox 360 as well. Now this is a bit on the advanced level and might require a little more of a resource expenditure that the two mentioned above.

If you have other software, products, organizations, methods, tricks that you or your organization has used to offer similar educational opportunities/experiences to youth please post a comment and I will make sure to include them.

{September 25, 2006}   Nominate a Beautiful Girl …

I just received this from New Moon and had to pass it along. What a wonderful idea.

new moon logo
Please help New Moon magazine’s Girls Editorial Board redefine beauty by
nominating a girl you know for our 8th Annual “25 Beautiful Girls” issue
(May/June 2007). In this special issue, New Moon’s girl editors honor 25
girls who exhibit INNER beauty and strength of character. Every nominee
receives a copy of the magazine (all nominees are listed on the inside
back cover) and a special certificate.

All nominations must be received by October 1. You have a week, so get going. See contest directions and nomination method here at New Moon Magazine’s web site.

I know that I have a couple of nominations to prepare.

{September 9, 2006}   ListenUp

Occasionally as things come up we will give a shout out to some great work that is going on out there on the youth and media fronts. One recently that I happened across while rummaging through flickr was ListenUp. Here is a link: to some flickr photos of one of their past workshops. I particularly like this image. It looks as though there is some real creative work going on …

et cetera