Technology and Education is Child's Play in Boston
Kids love technology, as most parents these days know. True, too often technology is used for entertainment and to interact with friends virtually, but there’s much more kids can do with it when given the opportunity, which is what happened at the Boston Science Museum last week.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH),a global education leader, partnered with Computer Clubhouse, a digital design studio for urban youth located at the Museum of Science, Boston to host EdMakers: Reimagining Your Education Experience. The event was a day-long program that encouraged local students to use technology to tackle challenges facing education.
Students who attended the event, aged 10 to 18, worked in groups throughout the day with volunteers to identify issues from personal experiences at school and to invent solutions using three different mediums: film, game design and wearable technologies. To wrap the day, they put together a showcase for family and friends.
At the end of the day, there was a lot of creativity on display in the finalists' projects. One of them was a glove and bracelet (“glovelet”), a boredom-buster that vibrates and flashes lights when the wearer’s pulse decreases, preventing them from falling asleep when they should be concentrating on a class or lecture. The other final EdMaker was a video game built in MineCraft. The game allows players to gain points as they complete school-related tasks, such as choosing a healthy lunch in the cafeteria.
“HMH shares the Computer Clubhouse philosophy that learning inspires change and that all students should have access to safe, inspiring learning environments,” said Brook Colangelo, CIO for HMH. “We were thrilled to work with the Clubhouse to create a unique event like EdMakers, which fuses innovation and social impact, and to provide a fun platform for kids to explore and engineer creative education solutions.”
EdMakers was the launch pad of a series of activities HMH is planning to carry out in partnership with Boston area organizations on creative events. Besides these partnerships, the company also encourages employee volunteerism, organizes a multimillion dollar annual book donation program, an employee/company gift-matching and Community Investment Councils, which are location-based employee committees charged with creating opportunities for colleagues to have a positive impact on the community.