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Connected Learning Through Videogames

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This project was submitted by an applicant to the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

Connected Learning Through Videogames

Pixel Arts Game Education

Program Summary

Participate in hands-on videogame making workshops in schools around Portland, OR! With the power of the Internet, we now have access to so many tools and resources to enable youth to take their stories and turn them into interactive worlds and characters; let’s learn how to build these games and share them with the world!

In a workshop environment influenced by the leadership of past and current learners, Pixel Arts Game Education offers:
- Basic Internet literacy/DIY research learning, creating pathways for youth to use free, easily-accessible tools to search for and utilize the vast amount of open source game making tools that are theirs for the taking!
- Social marketing and Internet sharing education, providing safe methods for youth to create their very own game, receive feedback by sharing their work on the Internet, then implement changes to their game to make it the best it can be!
- Kickstater/Crowdfunding education, introducing youth to the creative crossroads of Internet marketing, multimedia projects, and project management!

Via our youth-inspired course structures, Pixel Arts has created an intergenerational learning environment that supports middle school- through high school-aged students, facilitating up to 40 in each workshop. Classes will be embedded locally based on community demand, potentially opening up the Art Institute, Portland Youth Builders, PSU, or other local schools. Please contact Will Lewis at scartheatre [at] gmail (dot) com if you have any questions; we’re excited to capitalize on the exciting educational environments and student enthusiasm that videogames bring to our local youth!

Agenda

Basic Internet Literacy/DIY Research
A five-day hands-on workshop aimed towards teaching students how to adapt to new technology, work safely in online community environments, participate in larger creative environments, and become DIY learners.

Section 1: Using an Internet Browser
- Basic Internet Safety Rules
- Basic Browser Functionality
- Downloading and Uploading (and “posting”) Etiquette and Safety
Section 2: What do I need to make a game?
- Videogame-making Basics
- Roles of Game Developers
- Tools of Game Developer Roles
Section 3: Open Source Tools
- Using a search engine to find tools
- Using forums/community to find the tools most suited for you
- Expanded Download Etiquette and Safety
Section 4: Learning Downloaded Tools
- Online Tutorials
- Online Community Help
Section 5: Sharing Results
- Reaching for Community Feedback
- Participating in Community Feedback
- Implementing Community Feedback

Marketing Your Game Online: Social Media and Internet Community Sharing
A three-day hands-on workshop aimed towards teaching students how to safely operate in social media environments, participate in constructive environments for positive critique, and create excitement around their product.
Section 1: Game Generation and Marketing Preparation
- Solidifying a Game Idea
- Analyzing a Game’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Section 2: Internet Sharing Tools
- Social Media Basics
- Requesting Feedback and Critique
- Implementing Feedback and Critique
Section 3: Marketing Your Game
- Finalizing a game’s high concept and marketing environment
- Customizing Social Media Tools
- Niche Marketing for Equitable Solutions

KickStarter: How to fund your dream project into reality!
A one-day workshop aimed towards teaching students how to use Kickstarter and other crowdfunding methods to successfully avoid their project’s potential funding complications and create equitable media.
- What is Kickstarter and Crowdfunding?
- What makes a good project?
- How do I make my own project?
- How do I best use the Project Video, Rewards, and Description fields?
- Other Crowdfunding Alternatives

* Each workshop will be interlaced with use of course assessment tools for the purpose of instructional design and educational research.

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