iDesign: Developing Technological Fluency Through Culturally-Relevant Game Design
In 9 urban and suburban school districts in metropolitan NYC, 10 teachers and approximately 125 youth (primarily African-American and Latino) in grades 6–9 are engaged in a yearlong serious game research and design program in after-school clubs.
The iDesign project engages underrepresented youth in creating computer games that are culturally and socially relevant. By engaging participants in the culture of information technology, the project is designed to move them from playing computer games to using tools that require programming and computation skills. The project culminates in the dissemination of a game-design curriculum that other after school programs can use. The project, a collaborative effort between Hofstra University and seven middle schools in the New York City area, engages 45 6th to 9th grade students and their teachers in interactive after-school Game Design Clubs. To support the Clubs, a summer institute introduces teachers to innovative digital pedagogy. The project also includes a summer leadership academy for students and student career orientation. Global Kids, an organization that develops after-school leadership programs using gameplay, will provide the summer leadership program. The New York State After-School Network (NYSAN) will disseminate iDesign curriculum and games. The project will be sustained through the commitment of participating schools to continue the program and through the dissemination of project resources.