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Globaloria Banner.png
Founded 2006
Founder(s) Idit Harel
Industry Education Technology
Users 18,500 (in 2015)

Globaloria is an award-winning K–12 learning platform MOOC featuring courses to teach students to design, prototype, and code educational web/mobile games and simulations with industry-standard technology as a means of learning content and creative innovation skills. Globaloria was invented with the social mission to provide all students with STEM and computing education opportunities in the face of 70% of U.S. students lacking computer science education opportunities,[1] As of 2013, Globaloria has served 10,500 students and educators in sixteen states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Wyoming);[2][3] making Globaloria the largest education intervention of its kind in the USA.[4] Globaloria technology and content are designed to cultivate engagement in learning among students on a large scale, and has shown success among schools in rural and urban communities of varied socioeconomic status.[5][6] Globaloria was invented by Dr. Idit Harel and developed by the World Wide Workshop in 2006.

"[Globaloria]... aims to teach youth how to take control of their new-media world." -Idit Harel Caperton[7]

Products and Services[edit]

The mission of Globaloria is to empower youth to engage in STEM learning and become inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. It was developed in response to the disconnect between technology being defined by the White House as "an essential ingredient of economic growth and job creation,"[8] and the lack of computer science education opportunities in the United States.[9] Globaloria provides "a scalable, digital game-design learning platform, curriculum, and professional development system that is easily integrated into any school."[10] Globaloria courses each provide a 40-100 hour game-design curriculum using industry-standard tools, a customized learning platform with dynamic backend and learning management system, programming and design tutorials, coaching by educators and industry experts, live and digital support systems, and onsite and online educator professional development—all within a social learning community.[11][12]

Globaloria platforms and courses are designed for cultivating academic success among youth through project-based learning. Students are empowered to drive their own design ideas and learning-by-doing processes to master coding skills and computer science concepts.[13] Student-created games are then celebrated in the Globey Game Design Competition, a curricular component that motivates students to pace through complex problem-solving collaboratively towards excellence and share their progress and products within their larger community. Past Honorary Chairs and Judges of the Globey Competition include Senator Jay Rockefeller,[14] Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Erik Huey of the ESA.[15]

Globaloria's mission includes enriching teachers' learning. Educators engage in virtual and in-person training academies and ongoing self- and peer-to-peer learning and mentoring as they become empowered to lead a STEM-rich blended classroom that combines online courses/resources with in-class teaching, ultimately transforming their teaching styles to be more collaborative and transparent.[16]

Globaloria can be implemented in various formats: as individual courses or a comprehensive cumulative program as part of the regular school day for a grade and credit, integrated into an existing core curriculum or elective class, or as a stand-alone course. Globaloria can also be implemented within or as after school activities or summer camps.[11]

Globey Game Design Competition[edit]

Every year, thousands of Globaloria students participate in game design competitions called the Globeys. It is the culmination of year-long learning and teaching activities. The Globeys are part of the Globaloria curriculum to enhance the rigorous nature of the program.[17] The Globey Awards recognize the best in youth educational video game design and coding, based on technical quality, educational content, artwork and animations quality, teamwork, research, and the overall production process.[18] Certificates, prizes and awards are given to the winning teams of each competition in the spring and summer at Globey Award Ceremonies.[19] Student winners are awarded Game Designer Kits, which include a laptop and programming software.[20] Each winning game is published in the Globaloria Game Gallery, enabling the public to learn from and be inspired by students' original work.[21] Each competition has its own deadlines, prizes, ceremonies and expert judges. Past judges have included executives from Adobe, HP, Microsoft, and Google; professional video game producers; education leaders;[19] and government officials including Senator Jay Rockefeller and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise.[22]


Students working together during Globaloria class.

The courses and programs of Globaloria use a Constructionist Learning approach[23][24] to achieve its goals: 1) engaging students in digital learning, 2) empowering teachers and principals through STEM, and 3) disrupting and restructuring the current education system.

The following mission statement is published on the Globaloria website:[25]

  1. To engage millions of students in digital learning for mastering the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school, college and careers in the global innovation economy.
  2. To empower educators and school systems by enhancing their 21st-century capabilities and STEM learning and teaching opportunities.
  3. To power up classrooms and turn them into networked design studios that motivate students to work harder and dig deeper into content and complex projects.

Using Globaloria’s virtual network of educational tools and resources, students are encouraged to construct, interact, and play to deepen their learning and thinking about complex STEM, computing, and core curricular topics.

Globaloria is based on the MIT PhD research of Idit Harel Caperton, and her articles and books, Children Designers and Constructionism. Its project-based learning system integrates learning logs, analysis blogs, individual and team project spaces, skill-building tutorials, instructional help desk,[26] and more, to blend online and in-class learning around any topic.[27] Harel Caperton wrote:

"[Globaloria] is true social learning: A networked social media [technology] platform... is the vehicle for acquiring mathematics, design, engineering, science and civics content in compliance with any state-mandated standards and the new Common Core standards--as well as for acquiring social skills of collaboration, and the habits of team-driving analytical thinking and problem-solving."[26]

The World Wide Workshop team and its partners assert that these are the very skills needed to be productive, successful 21st-century citizens in the global knowledge economy.[28][29]

The name "Globaloria" represents "global explorations" with "media."[30]


A Globaloria student researches her video game topic using digital resources.

The key outcome of Globaloria courses in any implementation format is that each student successfully learns to take an idea from invention to completion, and to collaborate with peers to design, research, code, program and publish an original educational game (web/mobile). Along the way, students also master global thinking, social media tools such as blogs and wikis, and the skills required to document, chronicle, and co-learn as active members of an online learning community. A profile in Education Week highlighted that Globaloria users develop "the transferable skills of proposal writing, storyboarding, ActionScript software coding, informational blogging, and presentation of progress reports, as students follow a development plan similar to those in the commercial gaming industry through tools available through their account on Globaloria's social learning platform."[31]

Research has shown that Globaloria educates students in technical and computational skills, as well as content knowledge, which results in improved academic performance and increased Constructionist and digital learning abilities, preparing them for college-level studies, digital citizenship, and careers in the global knowledge economy.[32][33] Additionally, Globaloria has been named by the National Center for Women and Information Technology as a "Promising Practice" for engaging girls in computing,[34] as a result of its success shrinking the digital divide faced by girls and minorities.[35]


Pilot Platforms[edit]

Video game about healthy eating created using Globaloria.

Dating back to its prototype in 2006, Globaloria was envisioned as a composition of multiple platforms, each of which would have its own network, themes, and active communities. Over time, these themed platforms were merged and become the vibrant Globaloria network that exists today.

Five Globaloria networks launched the pilot program, each of which was to focus on a broad theme: health, science, math, human rights, and important global issues. The game or sim the students created was about one of these global themes. An individual class or small group formed its own community within the network, connecting with other communities within that network. Each community received a wiki-like programmable technology space to serve as the community's virtual classroom or clubhouse. There, the learners created profile pages and project pages, as well as used a step-by-step curriculum to learn to design and build a game to be published on the web. Each community also received access to learning content, such as sample games with downloadable codes and custom tutorials. Every participant in the community learned to create a media-rich blog in which to think and reflect regularly on his or her game-making experience and learning process. Practicing how to learn online, blog, and use wiki software were identified as major skills for digital citizenship.

Three operational network platforms were tested in the beta version of Globaloria: MyHLife (MyHealthLife), MySLife (MyScienceLife), and MyGLife (My Global Life). Three additional social platforms were developed but not formally launched: MyRLife (MyHumanRightsLife), MyALife (MyArtLife), and MyMLife (MyMathLife).[36]


MyHLife (MyHealthLife) was an online platform within the Globaloria network that allowed students to become the makers of interactive web games and simulations that focus on important health issues such as nutrition, exercise, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. In the process of game and simulation making, students dove into the issues that affect them and their communities while improving their 21st century skills. In the summer of 2008, the World Wide Workshop Foundation worked with 10 students (ranging from 10–17 years old) from Rethink in New Orleans. With MyHLife, students worked together to create a web game called "The Ultimate Lunch Tray" that advocated for a healthier cafeteria and healthier lifestyles in New Orleans Public Schools. [37]


MySLife (MyScienceLife) was an online platform within the Globaloria network that allowed participants to become the makers of interactive web games and simulations that focused on science. In the 2008 pilot year and in partnership with Schlumberger-Seed, the World Wide Workshop directed participants from around the world to focus on two topics – global climate and energy. While participating in the process of game and simulation creation, participants learned 21st century learning skills as well as climate and energy topics such as greenhouse gases and wave energy science.


MyGLife (MyGlobalLife) was an online platform within the Globaloria network that allowed participants to become makers of interactive web games and simulations that focused on subject areas regarding math, science, history and social issues. It is now called Globaloria. In partnership with the Governor of West Virginia, Benedum Foundation, Center for Professional Development for the State of West Virginia (CPD), Knight Foundation, and other supporting organizations, the World Wide Workshop implemented a statewide pilot program that brought the Globaloria program into classrooms throughout West Virginia. With a customized curriculum, training, and support programs developed by the World Wide Workshop, Globaloria game and simulation production classes were introduced to seven groups, representing middle schools, high schools, vocational schools and community colleges for grade and credit in June 2007.

U.S. Launch[edit]

After several pilots of Globaloria internationally during 2006-2007,[38] in July 2007, the Harel Caperton and the World Wide Workshop team discovered and pursued an exciting RFP: The governor and first lady of West Virginia were looking for an "innovative technology program that would transform education throughout the state by using the latest Web technology and innovative content."[39] Having heard of the World Wide Workshop Foundation, Governor Joe Manchin believed that the Globaloria Program could help in this educational endeavor.[40]

Funding was received, and in August 2007 the World Wide Workshop Foundation began to implement the Globaloria program statewide in West Virginia to stimulate economic and social development, foster job creation, and position the state as a leader in 21st century education.[41] In its first pilot year, 89 students and 18 educators from seven learning institutions became the first participants to use the Globaloria-WV program’s MyGLife network for learning to design educational web-games.[42] In the second pilot year, which started in August 2008, Globaloria-WV more than doubled in size to over 250 participants. With the support of the State of West Virginia and other partners, the World Wide Workshop continued its growth and impact throughout West Virginia, reaching schools across 25 counties in the past seven years.[43]

U.S. Expansion[edit]


Since 2009, with funding from the AMD Foundation, Globaloria has been deployed at East Austin College Prep, where every student participates in a daily 60- to 75-minute Globaloria class to develop educational and social-issue games or simulations focusing on original educational and social issue topics.[44] In 2012, Globaloria expanded to neighboring Manor Independent School District, and was also offered as a summer camp in collaboration with Skillpoint Alliance.[45]


In 2011, Globaloria launched in Silicon Valley with about 180 youth.[46] The program has grown steadily, reaching 1,500 youth in 2013 with a 100% retention rate among sites.[47]


In 2011, Globaloria was implemented throughout middle and high schools in the Hillsborough County Public Schools district to enrich the district's formal STEM curriculum.[48]

New York

Globaloria has been active across New York City schools since January 2011, when it partnered with IS 364 Gateway Intermediate School in Brooklyn. This pilot then instpired the program's expansion among The Young Women's Leadership Schools, as well as to a number of the city's iZone schools, including the Bronx Writing Academy, where Globaloria is offered to all 7th grade students.[49] Globaloria workshops were offered at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2011, to teach jazz history and digital literacy to youth through game design. The workshops were a collaboration with jazz artists Jonathan Batiste and his band Stay Human.[50]


Launched in 2013, Globaloria expanded to Wyoming's Sheridan County School District Number 1, where all middle schools offer Globaloria to their 6th and 7th grade students, and the program is being expanded to the high school.[51]


Since launching in 2006, the impact of Globaloria has been studied and evaluated by independent researchers from across the country. Studies conducted on various cognitive, developmental, social, instructional, and cultural domains of knowledge have used a range of methodologies such as controlled experimental designs, case studies, longitudinal studies, and design-based research. This research inform the field of education reform and drive the enhancements of the Globaloria program.[52]

Research partners have come from Rutgers University, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, Columbia University, Michigan State University, Marshall University, West Virginia University, Rockman et al., and Edvantia.[53]

Research findings indicate:

  • Globaloria increases students' knowledge and use of technology, particularly among girls.[34][35]
  • Globaloria builds student interest in STEM careers.[54][55]
  • Globaloria is linked to gains on standardized tests.[56][57][58]
  • Globaloria advances both self-directed and collaborative learning in the classroom.[59][60]
  • Globaloria helps underserved students overcome digital barriers.[35][61][62]


Globaloria has won several awards in the education-technology and philanthropy fields:

  • The Tech Museum: Tech Awards Microsoft Education Award Laureate (2013) - Awarded as a scalable, digital game-design learning program that addresses the educational divide[63]
  • Silicon Valley Education Foundation: STEM Innovation Award in Science (2013) - Marking Globaloria one of the nation’s top programs in STEM education[64]
  • Software Information Industry Association: Innovation Incubator Honoree (2013) - Recognizing Globaloria on the basis of potential to positively impact education through innovative learning technologies[65]
  • National School Boards Association: Technology Innovation Showcase Honoree (2013) - Selected as an emerging company that represents a new, results-proven approach to addressing the STEM education gap across K-12 curricula.[66]
  • Lights. Camera. Help.: Film Festival Finalist (2010) - World Wide Workshop documentary series "Voices from the Field" was selected as finalist in this Austin-based film festival, the first exclusively for nonprofit and cause-driven films. "Voices" consisted of 32 video vignettes exploring the learning stories and reflections of young students and their educators who learn and teach with Globaloria.[67]


The World Wide Workshop partners with forward-thinking leaders, corporations, school systems, universities, and research centers to enrich existing formal and non-formal education systems with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities.[68]

Since the launch of Globaloria's pilot programs:[69]

World Wide Workshop Foundation[edit]

The World Wide Workshop is a non-profit organization, founded by Idit Harel Caperton in 2004, that develops learning technologies that combine game mechanics and social networking to empower youth to be inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. The company's programs transform education by connecting youth to learning, community engagement, and economic development through game production. The World Wide Workshop works in collaboration with forward-thinking leaders, corporations, school systems, universities, and research centers to enrich existing formal and non-formal education systems with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities.[76]

External links[edit]


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