Aug 21 2015

Project Learning Lab Recap: RFP 09

Community, Hive NYC, Members, Research

The Mozilla Hive NYC Project Learning Lab (PLL) is a forum for Hive NYC Digital Media Learning Fund grantees to discuss the progress of their projects. Every six weeks participants come together to share practices, introduce new tools, exchange ideas and provide feedback with the community via conference line and collaborative text document.

The PLL experience provides an informal setting for members to share progress, pose questions, meet about common concerns, provide documentation for a growing project portfolio and develop as a meaningful community of practice. Although the Project Learning Lab is organized by Hive NYC HQ, it exists as a mechanism for participants to hack and reinvent. It is a tool to enhance grantees productivity, agency and learning network experience. Below are summarized notes reflecting each meeting.

:: JUNE 2015 :: Project Learning Lab Kick Off

:: JULY 2015 :: Formative Assessment w Special Guest Sabrina Gomez

:: AUGUST 2015 :: Curriculum w Special Guest Jeff Surges

:: OCTOBER 2015 :: Media Literacy w Special Guest Sharese Bullock-Bailey

:: NOVEMBER 2015 :: Professional Development w Special Guest Delia Kim

:: JANUARY 2016 :: Evaluation w Special Guest Tal-Bar Zemer

:: MARCH 2016 :: Learning outcomes w Special Guest Katie Brohawn

 

JULY 15 2015, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Formative Assessment
SPECIAL GUEST: Sabrina Gomez

Individuals representing projects selected for RFP 9 joined the call to share updates. We started with a quick update about ourselves in a fun, “fill in the blank” activity. Then, everyone had time to write and verbalize the status of their projects. Sabrina Gomez (Director of the STEM Educators Academy) from The After School Corporation (TASC) lead a discussion about Formative Assessment and how it can help guide project planning. She shared many links and resources with a detailed description of how she uses them in her own work. Following that discussion participants responded with comments and questions. Everyone added suggestions of ways they use or plan to use it in their programs. We ended the call with community announcements and updates.

Below are five highlights from the call. For a detailed view see the full archive here.

1. Participants composed some heart warming introductions.

“So far, my summer is fulfilling because we have an incredible staff working at Beam Camp in New Hampshire including two teens from Brooklyn International High School.” – Brian Cohen, Beam Center

2. Project updates were both informative and exciting.

“Our names are Tahir & Erica. Our project is called the Rap Research Lab and I am currently working on technology updates for the classroom, prepping for recruitment workshops & a design charrette in August and tailoring lesson plans for September.” – Tahir Hemphill and Erica Kermani, Eyebeam

3. Our guest, Sabrina Gomez provided a detailed description of Formative Assessment and how she uses it in her work.

“Seamlessly link assessment, instruction, and learning. They  are specific strategies- a question, process, or activity- designed to  be easily embedded in instruction and to provide information about  students’ progress with factual, conceptual and procedural understanding  in science. Also applicable to Literacy, Media, Tech or any discipline  or project where professional development providers would like to assess  participant knowledge or teachers assessing student knowledge.” – Sabrina Gomez – The After School Corporation

4. Participants shared helpful Formative Assessment methods they use/plan to use in their projects and programs.

“Appointment Clock to encourage peer to peer learning: it is an iterative process to research, propose and get feedback – at a certain point students take time to iterate – they have shorter periods of work time with breaks to turn and talk – they can ask advice from peers.” Tahir Hemphill, Rap Research Lab

5. Following Sabrina’s description participants contributed comments and suggestions to an insightful discussion.

“Testify to the power of Formative Assessment. There are so many accessible strategies. Don’t assume that educators are going to do it even if they are long time educators. It is best to weave it into teacher training.” – Chris Whipple, Expanded Schools

AUGUST 26 2015, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Curriculum
SPECIAL GUEST: Jeff Sturges

About 15 Project Learning Lab participants joined the call. Individuals new to the call introduced themselves and everyone else typed a quick, non-verbal update about themselves in a fun, “fill in the blank” activity. We started with a warm welcome to Jeff Sturges, a special guest on the call who is the founder of Detroit based Mt. Elliott Maker Space. He introduced himself and his work in a short, 5 minute presentation. For the next 30 minutes we focused on two specific projects from the group. Halima Johnson (Youth Programs Manager at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum) presented a project that helps teens earn digital badges to augment applications to art and design schools. Jess Decarolis (Director of Curriculum and School Programs at Reel Works) followed with a presentation on a project that refines and expands a digital badging system that documents and recognizes youth achievement in media production. Each presentation included links, resources and prompts that participants were asked to respond and give critical feedback to. Each project presentation was no more than 10 minutes, with the remainder of the time used for discussion and participant feedback. Specific prompts were prepared by the presenters. The prompts were intended to focus on challenge areas that would be most useful to the presenters. As the special guest and visiting expert, Jeff provided valuable insight and suggestions to both presenters. A summary of outcomes are below.

Presentation #1: Cooper Hewitt Digital Badges for Higher Education

Ideas used to foster discussion:

  1. A Prototype for a possible curriculum pathway.
  2. Additional thinking on how various elements of the curriculum overlap and intersect.
  3. Project Portfolio

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

  1. What kinds of visual models/maps might be used to help students visualize the overlapping and non-linear nature of the curriculum?
  • Might look up “game skill trees” for some visual ideas

  • “How about a percentage complete icon? (simple but effective) students have an emotional relationship to battery life…The one LinkedIn uses always makes me have feels because its at 90%”

  • “How have you layered or scaffolded programs to serve multiple grade levels (those working on current applications and those in sophomore or junior year in order to prepare for future applications)?”

  • “Thinking of a grayed-out portfolio graphic w/ gray-scaled layers naming required pieces; pieces become brighter/another color once they’re complete & slowly fill-up the portfolio, which shift color when filled. Portfolio as badge back-pack, physical (as Jeff suggests) or virtual.”

Presentation #2: Reel Works Digital Badges for youth achievements in Media Production

Ideas used to foster discussion

  1. A collection of working documents (Curriculum Map, Reel Works Badges Overview, Storytelling Achievement).
  2. Project Portfolio

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

  1. Is the curriculum map clear? What might be obstacles to understanding and/or adoption?
  • “The curriculum map is very reminiscent of formal, school curriculum maps, so I think it crosswalks to educational conventions. Might be useful to see what happens if you recast this, in parallel with, a ‘suggested’ pathway of projects and their badges/skills/deliverables/outcomes. I guess I mean: present the curriculum a bunch of ways and user test w/ learners.”

  • “How can it all be organized so that a youth can understand it? maybe a linear progression? how is displayed? – i.e. in your space? for example, look at where they need to go and where they are nowExample.

  • “Like that out of all the badges you were able to articulate clear and distinct pathways for specific roles both within the organization as well as outside the org in industry.”

  1. What might be an appropriate visual format for leveling across contexts  and increasing levels of complexity — one map? separate maps for each  level and context?
  • “Unlocking new levels sometimes can make the next step clear. Games seem to be really good at representing this.”

  • “I wonder if, since these badges I think are earned while engaging in a video project, that maybe there could almost be a trivial pursuit pie slice organization. So for a given project, youth achieved certain badges but not others… There could be a record of which ‘slices’ students achieved for a given project, and then a ‘master circle’ where all achieved and not-yet-achieved badges is displayed.”

  • Sounds like you might need different representations for different uses/audiences. Teachers/classrooms different from youth, different from on-boarding internal staff/teaching artists.

October 7 2015, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Media Literacy
SPECIAL GUEST: Sharese Bullock-Bailey

About nine Project Learning Lab participants joined the call. As people waited for the call to begin they filled out a fun, brief “Mad-lib” activity introducing themselves. After a quick welcome, Sharese Bullock-Bailey was introduced as the guest critic. Sharese is the Tribeca Teaches Manager at Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and has over 12 years experience  as a multimedia producer, strategic consultant, and educator. With her multi-faceted experience in media literacy she was the perfect guest to speak to the call topic. For the next 40 minutes The LAMP and The After School Corporation (TASC) presented updates and progress of their current projects. Alan Berry (Education Director) and Zenzele Johnson (Education Associate) from The LAMP presented a project about television media literacy workshops for teens. Francisco Cervantes ( Digital Learning Manager) from TASC presented a project that will train educators on how to incorporate media literacy into curriculum. Both projects included a tool developed by The LAMP called Media Breaker.

Each project presentation was no more than 10 minutes, with the remainder of the time used for participant feedback. Specific prompts were prepared by the presenters and used to start a discussion around challenge areas that would be most useful to each project. As the special guest and visiting expert, Sharese provided valuable insight and suggestions to both presenters. A summary of outcomes are below.

Presentation #1: The LAMP Television Media Literacy Workshops

Materials used to foster discussion

  1. Video archive of student work.
  2. Breaking the VMA’s event recap
  3. Mediabreaker tool

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. If you were making a Break-a-thon event what would you like to see in the tool-kit (materials, resources?)

  • “Lesson Guides; Assessments; Resource List would be helpful to replicate and share with Teaching Artists/Educators.  Also, an event production check list (technical & content/operations)”

  • “Really enjoyed the sample videos you shared from previous events especially the VMA breakdown. It would be interesting to use remixing media platform to address other issues such as upcoming politcial debates. Love the accessibility of the tool so that students can continue to use outside of the program. It also seems like the curriculum would be very flexible to accomadate so many different topics relevant to the youth we serve. I can’t help but reflect to when Emily Long mentioned that the program was “less about creating the next Martin Scorsese but more the next Jon Stewart”! I love that its less focus on having something that looks so professional and more focus on the message that the youth want to get across.”

  • What are some ways that the experience might be extended to follow the event? It sounds like the strength of the format is that it really speaks to something that youth are interested in (football, music videos, etc.), but weakness is that it’s a short engagement. How can you have it act as an on-ramp into further experiences?

2. How could you use this idea of critical remix and implement it in other media events?

  • Film Festivals; particularly youth-focused festivals would welcome coverage, critique and engagement  in a critical learning space- which the tool and event offers; Check out Sundance, Plural +,Tower of Youth and of course Tribeca Film Festival.

  • Another great resource for media that can be viewed and discussed is Independent Lens/POV.  Many films supported by ITVS, happy to help connect you!

  • “What about popular TV shows? e.g., Scream Queens, Awkward 😉 Nice way of generating ongoing conversations/commentary (+ deepens the critique that youth must do)

Presentation #2: TASC Media Literacy Curriculum Training for Educators.

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. What are some successful strategies that you have implemented in the past for collecting lesson plans from participants or to document an educator’s implementation practices/strategies?

  • Our experience has been that the first round of lesson planning is the most important and requires a clear template and timeline and one or two coaches who can spend the time with the instructors to walk them through the process.

  • We use github to create curriculum and create discussion around user testing them. Mozilla community is using “Curriculum” thread to share lessons.”

  • Yes, Lesson Study Approach- more of a long term approach to PD, support for collaborative teaching- Mills college is a great resource (documents a process of implentation that I participated in, happy to share.”

2. What website or online network do you use, or have used in the past, for sharing quality lesson plans or educational activities? Why do these websites work for you?  If none, what are some things that would matter the most to you in identifying a quality lesson sequence?

  • I havent used too many but my colleagues speak highly of Share My Lesson and TryScience.com

  • Controversial, but this site has been getting a lot of attention in the press:  teacherspayteachers.com – see NYT article

  • Check out Ovee.  Great tool for collaborating, using media.  Allows you to all look at the same content and discuss/review/engage, very helpful for educators/stakeholders.  Happy to connect you with folks at ITVS here.  In this case, you could take footage of an amazingly well executed lesson, a master teaching team in action, and use it as a prompt/text for sharing further.

  • I have used lots of the lesson share resources, but at the end of the day, the framework is everything- Educators will always want to remix their curriculum, their words.  I would focus on study, reflection and sharing of what actually happens in the classroom- bolstered observation tools, self-reflection tools and documenting (by video) lessons in action.

 

November 17, 2015, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Professional Development
SPECIAL GUEST: Delia Kim

About 15 people joined this months call. Three were new to the conversation and the other 12 had participated previously. As people waited for the call to begin they filled out a fun, brief “Mad-lib” activity introducing themselves. After a quick welcome, Delia Kim was introduced as the guest critic. Delia joined the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) staff in February 2014 and serves as Program Director. In her role, she is responsible for PASE’s Global Learning Initiative, communicating with and ensuring the success of agencies participating in the PASE Explorers program. With many years of experience in professional development, community organizing and youth empowerment she was perfect to have for this call topic. For the next 40 minutes Beam Center and Global Kids presented updates and progress of their current projects. Brian Cohen (Co-Director) and Nancy Otrero (Educator) from Beam Center presented a project about Professional Development at five schools in NYC. Ariam Mogos ( Director of Online Leadership Programs) from Global Kids presented a project that will bring professional development opportunities to educators at Parks and Rec Computer Resource Centers around the city.

Each project presentation was no more than 10 minutes, with the remainder of the time used for participant feedback. Specific prompts were prepared by the presenters and used to start a discussion around challenge areas that would be most useful to each project. As the special guest and visiting expert, Delia provided valuable insight and suggestions to both presenters. A summary of outcomes are below.

Presentation #1: Beam Center Connected Teaching Fellows Program
  • Four teachers from six schools from various subject areas (FIVE SCHOOLS SO FAR)
  • Goal of PD is for pairs of teachers to design a project-based, curriculum-integrated activity (CHALLENGE)
  • PD to include constructivist methodology and basic training in digital design and fabrication, circuitry, physical computing and curriculum integration.
  • 40 hours/8 sessions total: 4 sessions of PD with Nancy Otero and Domain Specialist (sculptors, fabricators, programmers, etc.); 3 days of in-classroom implementation assisted by Domain Specialist; 1 day of curriculum documentation
  • September-November: Training and Curriculum Development
  • February-April: Curriculum Implementation: Spring Semester
  • Interested participants receive offers to become paid Mentors for the next iteration of the program in 2016/2017

Materials used to foster discussion

  1. Project website.

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. What platforms have you used to document a project’s process that can support creating a lesson plan?

  • Trello (not sure how it could support lesson plans, but maybe!?)”

  • “I also like Mozilla Teach’s lesson plan formats.”

2. Which has been more effective in your own Professional Development? a) give teachers an overview of several different technologies to get them excited/engaged and then have them choose which one to employ or b) help them master a specific technology?

  • In my experience focusing on a deep dive in one technology and the opportunities for utilizing it in various applications has been more helpful than offering too many tools. (this was specifically with finding the right iPad apps to help support learning so might not apply).”

  • “First, trying to test how teachers can build their own plans, then testing will be very good to see how other teachers may use it – maybe like a lesson swap to get feedback.”

  • “Create something that people can iterate on, use other platforms that can be forked (so you are able to see different versions), have reflections on technology and how it is used in classrooms and examine how the project relates to learning.”

Presentation #2: Global Kids Developing Professional Development

 

Materials used to foster discussion

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. How do you provide ongoing support for teachers/informal educators who participate in your PD?

  • Our PD manager builds in follow up visits for some of our teachers. They have a chance to ask questions after being observed implementing the lesson they have developed based on the PD content. (it’s super time consuming but is effective)

  • “Those who are creating lesson plans might benefit from hearing about the why – background of the lesson plan – why it was done and how it is useful to help them when they adjust it for their youth in their specific setting.

  • “Confidence building of teachers – working with after school educators, overcoming that fear is key – always a challenge – maybe engaging in a conversation beforehand might help to get to the source of the resistance to change/insecurity.

2. What facilitation techniques do you use to support teachers/informal educators build the confidence to learn a new technology?

  • “Working one-on-one to develop certain skills is ideal. Observing where people are having trouble and then working on those specific areas. Specifically with technology there can be confusion on various levels so knowing where they struggle is helpful (again this is specifically an iPad based project that I was working on)

  • For NYSCI, we have developed short tutorial vidoes that are shared with the educators so they can always refer to the video at their own leisure.

  • Let them use it in a way that is not directly connected to their work as educators.

January 13, 2015, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Evaluation
SPECIAL GUEST: Tal-Bar Zemer

About 11 people joined this months call. As people waited for the call to begin we reviewed the agenda and welcomed our guest critic,Tal-Bar Zemer who is a “proud Hive Alum”. Tal worked for for years at City Lore on Evaluation and Assessment for a 3 Year Arts Integration Federal Grant and developed City Lore’s Digital Learning programs. She designed and ran the Kickflip Program. Last year Tal was a research fellow at the National Institute for Out of School Time where she studied evaluation and Assessment within the Hive. In August 2015 she took a position as the Community School Director of PS67, an elementary school in Brooklyn where she is working to build lasting programs a partnerships to improve learning, school culture and support kids and families in and beyond the school day. With many years of experience in evaluation and youth assessment she was perfect to have for this call topic.

For the next 40 minutes Rap Research Lab and Bell Foundation presented updates and progress of their current projects. Tahir Hemphill (Founder) from Rap Research Lab presented a project about teaching design thinking, data visualization and media criticism to students using hip hop as a cultural indicator. Megan Knighton (Director of Development) from Bell Foundation presented a project that provides South Bronx youth with instruction in coding, digital game design, data collection and analysis, and urban ecology.

Each project presentation was no more than 10 minutes, with the remainder of the time used for participant feedback. Specific prompts were prepared by the presenters and used to start a discussion around challenge areas that would be most useful to each project. As the special guest and visiting expert, Tal provided valuable insight and suggestions to both presenters. A summary of outcomes are below.

Presentation #1: Rap Research Lab

  • Project incorporates a lot of different tools
  • Process geotags rappers and all the lyrics in songs
  • Students have access to metadata for artist name, release date, syntax, etc.
  • Project gives a new context for rap, rap content and data
  • Students search data and clean it up – based on what they want to do with it
  • 2015 program is done, next take ideas from pilot program and scale it
  • To start project started with a design sprint with other educators – used student curriculum to teach educators – asked for feedback – design sprint was exciting day, because they were able to get feedback before going into the classroom
  • How do we this analog? Right now curriculum is 2/3 digital, 1/3 analog – content coding exercises
  • Analog activity for data visualization using color-coded posted notes.
  • After school at eyebeam, issues with recruitment.
  • Students wrote about the experience of creating their work and what the work means to them.
  • Teacher tool kit coming soon
  • Difficulty translating projects as curiculum for other educators and for different time frames.

Materials used to foster discussion

  1. Project website.
  2. Student Work, Anye Frimpong (mapped the word “power”)

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. Although necessary, MAGIC is a quality never quantified in final evaluation reports. Is there way to do this?

  • “Finding touchstones and theoretical framework so they can be linked to with artifacts.”

  • “Perhaps by “magic,” you are referring to outcomes, instances, experiences that were unexpected. I could see this being applied in multiple ways. Improvement in X that might be unexpected for a certain ‘type of youth’ (I feel like that was something Tal and Jessica grappled with in Kickflip). Or it could be that crazy amazing session that happened (I feel like we’ve all experienced those). It could also maybe involve checking in on kids after the program and being happily surprised to learn how they’ve continued their learning or changed their goals or whatever. Anyway, just wondering if starting from “what was unexpected or somewhat ‘unexplained’?” could maybe be a good starting point for how to capture and somewhat quanitfy that quality/construct/outcome of magic.”

  • “Finding touchstones and theoretical framework so they can be linked to with artifacts.

2. As the curriculum designer how do you relay your experience of MAGIC teaching moments to the educator you are training to implement your curriculum in order for them to have similar or better results?

  • “This is where anecdotal data can help you support your larger claims- I don’t think there is magic data that can show exactly what you mean – the stuff you have is the best illustration of what you mean and your best way to convey how/why the magic happened.”

Presentation #2: Bell Foundation

  • Improve math and literacy skills of students who under perform relative to better-resourced peers.
  • Bell tends to take birds eye view, 360 view: students, parents, teachers, staff. 
  • Star assessment taken at the beginning and end of the program to see progress and success or failure of program.
  • Challenge: Don’t really have tools to measure if a particular program has any effects on the student outside of the total program.
  • Solution: Comparing with a control group and survey students on their experience
  • Challenge: How to evaluate the students without knowing the specifics of coding
  • Solution: Used scientific method, which is familar to educators.
  • Graduates of programs teaching new cohorts has been successful in previous projects.
  • How do you connect graduates of programs to their next project or to a community of their peers? Networking events and communication channels for young people.

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. What are best practices for evaluating success of STEM based programs that are built around coding and design?

  • “We don’t have a lot of best practices in this work – what is your special practices and expertise that demonstrates the work?

  • “Outcomes you see as you go – capture them as they happen.

  • “Journaling – note touchstones as the work is happening.

2. How can organizations/schools/teachers best make connections between the in-class program and real world applications?

  • Maybe show how these skills translate to the professional world? Esp. in emerging fields and industries. Approach in an aspirational way.

March 8, 2016, 1PM – 2PM

CALL TOPIC: Learning Outcomes
SPECIAL GUEST: Katie Brohawn

We welcomed about 12 participants to the call this month. After a quick introduction to the call agenda we welcomed our guest critic, Dr. Katie Brohawn. As the Senior Director of Research at ExpandED Schools Dr. Brohawn leads the Research Department, helping to establish the organization’s research and evaluation priorities in order to raise service quality and inform policy, with special attention to relevant, timely research in expanded learning.  Prior to joining ExpandED Schools, she served at the NYC Department of Education as the Director of Research and Evaluation in the Research and Policy Support Group. There she oversaw the external evaluations of large-scale initiatives, such as the roll-out of the Common Core and designed and implemented internal evaluations of DOE pilot programs, such as the School of One. Dr. Brohawn holds a PhD in Psychology from Tufts University. With all this experience in learning outcomes and assessment she was perfect to have for this call topic.

Next, The New York Hall of Science (NYSci) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)  took about 20 minutes each to present updates and progress of their current projects. Anthony Negron and Ray Ferrer from NYSci presented a project about expanding a computing program for girls and young women to educational sites around New York City. Erin Prada from WCS presented a project for youth that uses a web-based educational tool to engage in environmentally-conscious urban planning.

Each project presentation was 10 minutes, with the remainder of the time used for participant feedback. Specific prompts were prepared by the presenters and used to start a discussion around challenge areas that would be most useful to the progress and outcomes each project. As the special guest and visiting expert, Katie provided valuable insight and suggestions to both presenters. A summary of outcomes are below.

Presentation #1: NYSci

  • Currently in phase of scaling program
  • Working with 4 partner sites: each site ran the program on 3 separate occasions, hopefully reaching ~25 students per session
  • Challenge: Started with new world studio – tool used for project–>no longer exists; using unity as a replacement platform at some sites
  • Educators trained and implementing program at various sites
  • Sites are hacking curriculum to be implemented in other projects
  • Coder Dojo using unity and helping NYSci implement into programming
  • Original inspiration for the program was emoticon.  When it came to scaling, haven’t had as many opportunities for young people to share their work with each other.

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1. What challenges have you had using open-source software? How have you addressed those challenges?

  • “Sometimes open source gets complicated – try to not use the latest version, because it is so new/and updated it helps to use older versions of the programs.

  • Scheduling is crucial for ensuring each site has materials needed to run the program since access to laptops is limited.

2. When scaling a program, what are good strategies for getting youth across multiple sites to effectively share projects with each other.

  • Make sure there is a critic element or review from peers – one way to do it might be a blog post or describe what they made, what it does, what they would add if they had more time – what would they do differently. Tumblr, blogger (you can embed), using screen captures – but challenging because not every student can create an account. 

  • “With respect to measuring changes in student motivation, confidence, interest, etc, specifically in STEM definitely check out the work being done by PEAR: http://www.pearweb.org/tools/commoninstrument.html — happy to discuss our previous experience using their tools (especially the Common Instrument Suite)”

  • “Another great source for finding options for measuring 21st Century Skills/SEL just released by American Institutes for Research http://www.air.org/sites/default/files/AIR%20Ready%20to%20Assess_ACT_rev.pdf  (Erin I think this is relevant to your work as well with respect to empowerment, etc.)”

Presentation #2: WCS

  • Visionmaker NYC Challenge partners: NySci, Global Kids
  • Goals:
    • Create a teen-driven network where teens can have a voice and collaborate with peers to address city issues
    • Use Visionmaker as a vehicle for the network
    • Pilot a competition as a means for buiilding the nework
    • Focused on urban planning
  • Took youth on trips around the city (billion oyster project & ny restoration, gowanas dredgers canoe club) to expose them to local conservation issues and solutions.
  • Used Visionmaker to imagine solutions to urban ecology and sustainability issues
  • Step one: building a network, getting teens engaged in this project.
  • Challenges:
    • Encouraging teens to commit time to this project, in addition to the programs they’re already participating in 
      • created visionmaker leaders and program partners. created a collaborative network for youth to support each other.

Prompts and a selection of responses from participants:

1.What challenges have you experienced in programs relying on a peer network effect?

  • “Sounds really interesting!  Abby Baird is a really facinating speaker about the neuroscience of adolescence.  I encourage everyone who works with adolescents to view some of her talks: http://pages.vassar.edu/abigailbaird/lectures/the-neuroscience-of-the-teen-brain/ — but specifically the one about Peer Pressure as it can relate to issues that could come up doing focus groups with teens.  That said, that piece of the talk fits in with the rest of the series so I would view them all!

2. To what extent does the strength of the peer relationship impact the outcomes? For example, two teens could have the same experience but, different relationships with the same peers.

  • Could see identifying which projects are coming from which kind of teen: teen partners (from places like GK/NySci), friends of Visionmaker teen leaders, etc. and just capturing that during account creation to be able differentiate groups that have different levels/kinds of peer relations, and then have group of reviewers use a rubric to evaluate differences and see if there are consequential patterns among different groups.

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