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The Learning-Based Virtual World Get a Job in Whyville! Education, Career Exploration, and Building Real Career Pipelines with a Virtual World © numedeon,

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Presentation on theme: "The Learning-Based Virtual World Get a Job in Whyville! Education, Career Exploration, and Building Real Career Pipelines with a Virtual World © numedeon,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Learning-Based Virtual World Get a Job in Whyville! Education, Career Exploration, and Building Real Career Pipelines with a Virtual World © numedeon, inc An intrinsically interesting environment to teach kids something.

2 Whyvillians Meet a VIP for Discussion at the Greek Theatre © numedeon, inc WELCOME TO WHYVILLE! Whyville.net is hard to describe but easy to show! Here are three slides that will give you a great feel for Whyville. In this slide, each cartoon character is a user logged into Whyville. We call our users Whyvillians. This place in Whyville is called the Greek Theatre. About once a week, we have a community forum in Whyville. Here, Whyvillians are asking questions of Bethany Dillon, a real-life singer & songwriter and VIP of the Day in Whyville.

3 Ion Engine Design © numedeon, inc Whyville.net features activities in math, science, art, journalism, economics, government and entrepreneurship. In this activity sponsored by NASA, users adjust the plate location and charge in an Ion Engine. If they are successful in creating an Ion Engine, Whyvillians will increase their clam salary that they earn every day they login to Whyville. Whyvillians can buy lots of things with their clams, just like we do with our salaries in the real world. For example, all the face parts and clothes you saw in the prior slide had to be purchased by Whyvillians with clams, Whyvilles in- world currency.

4 Whyville Beach © numedeon, inc Whyville combines community with learning. The Beach is one of the most popular hang-outs in Whyville. When Whyvillians get tired of the Beach, they can always summon their Toyota Scion and take a drive with their friends. Of course, Scions arent free – in Whyville, clams make the world go round. Whyvillians earn clams through educational activities and through starting businesses in Whyville. See all those face parts and clothes? Whyvillians designed them all, and other Whyvillians opened stores in Akbars Face Mall and made a virtual profit on selling face parts and virtual clothes to their fellow citizens.

5 © numedeon, inc Multiplayer virtual world for teens and tweens 100,000 unique users a month Its own newspaper, economy, government Educational games in math, science, journalism, art, government and economics

6 This is a story about the big public conversation the nation is not having about education … whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can't think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, (and) distinguish good information from bad … Time Magazine, December 2006 Quoting the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce Since 1999, Numedeon has been committed to the kind of educational reform that prepares our children for the global economy. Exploratory learning as seen in Whyville presents age-appropriate abstract problems, rewards team effort along with individual effort, and leaves it to the kids to process what they see and find their way in Whyville.

7 The Workforce Ecosystem Two-Year Colleges Four-Year Colleges Graduate Programs Summer Programs After School Programs Assessment Services Articulation Agreements Policy High Schools Middle Schools Magnet Schools Academies Cities Counties States Economic Developers Workforce Boards INDUSTRY

8 Pressures on the Workforce Ecosystem More Indian college graduates than U.S. high school graduates More English speakers in China than in the U.S. This is a story about the big public conversation the nation is not having about education … whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can't think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, (and) distinguish good information from bad … Time Magazine, December 2006 Quoting the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce Houston Community College organizing to graduate 500 bio- technicians Houston stands up Robotics Education Support Center Arlington organizing to recover manufacturing base with state grants San Antonio Greater Chamber Survey indicates corporations hire IT graduates from outside San Antonio Its cooking! The workforce system is transforming as a result of global, national and regional pressures on local economies.

9 STEM Education … 1.Is a critical issue for academia, governments and industries 2.Underlies regional, national, global competitiveness 3.Attracts industry to regions 4.Is a basis for innovation 5.Is the feeder system for cluster initiatives 6.Is not attracting sufficient numbers of students

10 Assertions There are innovative STEM programs everywhere you turn over a rock. Alignment is always a challenge. In general, these programs are only loosely connected to industry support, workforce pipelines, regional strategies and global best practices.

11 Pathway Continuous planning and assessment … The New Education / Workforce Ecosystem Middle School High School, Magnate, Academy (or is it College?) College / Workplace COUNSELINGCOUNSELING COUNSELINGCOUNSELING Holistic Assess- ment Innovative schools are moving to a career exploration and pathway model. Pathways become the mechanism by which kids explore careers, and then they decide whether to continue or explore another pathway. Education is accompanied by teamwork, and industry players are getting involved earlier to help seed talent pipelines that ensure their workforce into the future. This model creates opportunity for career exploration in the late middle school and early high school years.

12 © numedeon, inc. 2006

13 © numedeon, inc Great Balloon Drop © numedeon, inc. 2006

14 Nutrition in Whyville Healthy Diet Not-So-Healthy Diet Hotwired Educational Site…Don't you wish this kind of stuff was around when we were in school?

15 © numedeon, inc. 2006

16 Whyvillians make money (clams) and then they spend money, sometimes on businesses they run in Whyville …

17 © numedeon, inc Senator OrEoBaBy Digital Kids… research has shown that kids engage deeply in virtual environments

18 © numedeon, inc. 2006

19 Getty Museum

20 100 articles submitted each week © numedeon, inc. 2006

21 Career exploration funded by the Texas Workforce Commission through the Governors Industry Cluster Initiative …

22 © numedeon, inc Whyville Biotech Do you have WhyPox? First seen in Whyville in 2003, WhyPox strikes yearly and spreads through the population. But the Texas Workforce Commission has saved the day. With funding from the Governors Industry Cluster Initiative, Whyvillians will be learning about immunology and finding a vaccine for WhyPox, all the while earning clams from Whyville Biotech.

23 © numedeon, inc Whyville Biotech Whyvillians are learning about immunology by working together in a multiplayer game to keeps cells from getting infected by viruses.

24 Whyville Planeworks People in manufacturing know that manufacturing jobs are high wage and high tech. Whyvillians will know this after running CAD simulators and managing supply chains in Whyville Advanced Manufacturing. Besides, they will be able to fly the airplanes they build off Whyville Island, or open a flying business and add clams to their Whyville bank account.

25 OUTREACH CAREER SIMULATION Career Pipelines JOBSJOBS Texas users are referred to the web sites of educational opportunities in the region they live in. We ENGAGE kids in STEM education and we START THE PIPELINE by showing them where to continue their education.

26 20,000 Engaged 1,000 Referred We will engage 20,000 Texas 14 and 15 year olds (and more kids of all ages) and refer 1,000 to the web sites of educational opportunities in their region.

27 & Numedeon is pleased to partner with the Texas Business and Education Coalition in the Texas Workforce Commission grants. TBEC is building a platform for career exploration and academic planning that will be available to schools throughout Texas. TBEC is a major voice of business in Texas on the topic of education. In the 1990s, TBEC led the way in raising the minimum curiculum standard for Texas high school students.

28 © numedeon, inc Evaluator Cathleen Galas in Why Whyville Studying WhyPox Epidemiology a meaningful problem collaborative think critically about the spread gathering data … making hypotheses many hours outside school deep questions, researched answers took responsibility for their own open-ended learning productive citizens Whyville has been studied for its successes in exploratory learning. This National Science Foundation-funded study explored how the lessons of disease spread (epidemiology) were learned in Whyville.

29 Attractive & Busy Rewarding Fun & Challenging Impactful Exploratory Levels of Engagement

30 © numedeon, inc Welcome to Whyvilles first live concert! Singer Stacie Orrico was our featured guest for over 3,000 Whyvillians online in the Greek Ampitheatre! But theres more here than fun and games. Whyvillians are being polled about the questions being asked of Stacie. Before this question, the prior one was Stacie, what was your favorite subject in high school? She said Science! Can you find the Whyvillian who also likes science? By the way, can you find the Whyvillian with WhyPox?

31 Our partners. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

32 Visit Whyville today! TWC-funded activities online starting May 2007 All access is free and permanent We ll expose 20,000 to careers And refer 1,000 to local education programs Workshops coming to your region Subject: TWC Sign-up Whyville Biotech Whyville PlaneWorks

33 Produced by Dancemimi – a Whyville citizen for Whyville Times, August 28, 2005 Get a Job in Whyville! Education, Career Exploration, and Building Real Career Pipelines with a Virtual World

34 © numedeon, inc. 2006

35 Whyvilles kids are engaged in… Nutrition education (obesity & type II diabetes) Music (and dancing, of course) Science – from astronomy & physics to rocket science & marine biology Global warming Art History Entrepreneurship Film & tv Economics Fashion & design Work force development (robotics, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology) Mathematics Hearing loss education Learning about disabilities – physical & learning Infectious disease Civics & governance Journalism Reading Recycling Finance & credit Philanthropy Automobile engineering Internet safety Games What sets Whyville apart is not what it teaches kids about the world, but how it teaches them. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc. Theres room for more!

36 From eyeballs to something else. What Whyville does is the something else. Historically, media is ruled by counting eyeballs (CPM). We measure eyeballs connected to brains. CPM mindset being replaced with CP(M*E 2 ). In other words, all Ms are not created equal © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

37 How the safety works. Report Decision: You are muted for 3 days due to inappropriate behavior. Underage newbies cannot chat until…. Visit the site a certain number of times Submit signed parental permission slip Pass Chat License test (100% required) Whyville Safety White Paper – available upon request Whyville Safety White Paper – available upon request Whyvilles safety orientation is best in class and also offers kids and teenagers a secure environment to socialize and play. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

38 How the education works. Healthy Diet Not-So-Healthy Diet Pedagogy Hands-On Inquiry Based Constructivist Fun! Hotwired Education Site…Dont you wish this kind of stuff was around when we were in school? Whyvilles Grocery Store – 496 Foods Whyvilles Cafeteria © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

39 45% of WhyEat participants indicated that the online activity changed the way they think about nutritional choices in their real lives. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

40 A few more examples The Myspace Invaders. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc. A Virtual Museum, Complete with Art & Activities The Curator Kids Use Clams to Buy Mermaid Tails Scuba Diving Game Games that Teach Art

41 What it means to be a tween. Starting to build their self-confidence Personality experimentation Influences: pop culture, friends/peers, family, school Straddling worlds of childhood innocence and teenage independence Tech savvy, having never known life without Internet Enjoy collecting things Want to belong to something thats exclusively for them Word-of-mouth is primary source for discovering new things Want to exert control by creating their own product Between the remote control and the car keys Whyville taps into tweens unique social/cognitive developmental issues. Research has shown that kids engage deeply in virtual environments. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

42 Hey, our teachers like it too. Whyville is the leading web-based educational community for children… Learning Landscapes Introduce this site to your students for months of science fun! My sixth graders love it! Whyville supports the use of computers by kids the way that scientists use computers: for data collection, data visualization, simulation and modeling, and scientific communication. The site also reflects what we know about learning communities and the kinds of interaction kids seek while learning and having fun. Wendy Li, sixth grade teacher We are including a Whyville experience in the pilot distance education piece of our science elementary methods curriculum. After visiting Whyville, I am convinced that it would be great for pre-service teachers to experience Whyville over the course of several weeks to see what excellence in electronic learning for kids really can be. Dr. Maureen McMahon, Dept. Chair, Cal State Long Beach © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

43 Remember that E word…what we report on. Engagement How many cars were built How many mermaid dives were done How many book clubs were formed How many times the word kajeet was used in chat How many flu-shots were administered How many kids got scurvy Did awareness of artist change during campaign (pre/post surveys) What do you really want to measure? The popular virtual world designed by Caltech scientists to give children 8 to 15 years of age a safe online spot to interact, play and learn, has caught fire. virtual world for teens and preteens allows kids to buy cool cyber-gear. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

44 How Whyville grows. Rational word of mouth…plus a whole lot more: –, magazine lists Kids Magazines – Online – Miss O & Friends, Call for Ally, Gorilla Nation + In School – Whyville Dispatch (school mag), school cafeteria poster program Home Grown, Proactive Viral Programs - Aggressive PR Program - Clearly focused on introducing kids and preteens to many important social, financial and other situations that they will face. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

45 The kids. Nearly 3 Million Users Served Since ,000 unique users per month Avg. Monthly Time Spent/User: 3.1 hours Avg. Monthly Page-views/User: 355 More Girls, But Lots of Boy (70%-30%) United States & Canada Core Age Composition: 8 To 15 Toyota also gets feedback about the car accessories Whyville-ites buy. © 2007 Numedeon, Inc.

46 Behind Whyville. Dr. James Bower - CEO, Founder Professor of Biology at Caltech Founder and Director of Caltech Pre-College Science Initiative Authored 100+ scientific publications and edited or authored 15+ books Ph.D. in Neurophysiology – University of Wisconsin Dr. Jennifer Sun - President, Co-founder Founding member of Idealabs Learning.net Director Educational Development – Electric Schoolhouse Ph.D. in Neuroscience – Caltech Mark Dinan - Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder B.S. Physics – Caltech Ann Pickard - Senior Art Director, Co-founder Pasadena Art Center College of Design Jay Goss - Chief Operating Officer Built and ran businesses for Execusurv, Reed Elsevier, ClickOf Time Technologies (founder; sold company to SBC/Idealab), Disney/ESPN, UCLA, Garys Leather Creations MBA – USC Marshall School of Business Eric Greenwald - Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales Neopets, Paramount, DIC Entertainment © 2007 Numedeon, Inc. Whyville, the place girls love to go for science.


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