Department of Play (Concluded)
The Department of Play (DoP) is a working group of researchers, students, and community practitioners at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media who share a common value: the design of new technology and methodologies to support youth as active participants in their local communities.
The Department of Play initiative aims to develop easy-to-use, open-source digital toolkits with corresponding curricula and pedagogical guidance to support youth-led active exploration, participatory learning, and civic engagement among children and adolescents in their neighborhoods. We've already got a few tools in development for capturing GIS maps using weather balloons & kites, using phone voicemail for organizing, and easy to use software to have youth add their own information and media on maps that document or re-conceptualize space in their neighborhoods.
We aim to:
- Gather like-minded researchers/activists in weekly meetings (Wed's 3-4:30pm E15-363)
- Form a community working group in Boston in the spring 2010, including community youth development and organizing professionals, to gather info on existing local tools, assess the current needs, and collaborate on new tools/curriculum (Monthly - 1st Wednesdays 6-7:30pm)
- Develop a "neighborhood explorers' toolkit" with 2-3 new technology tools and corresponding curriculum and aids in the spring of 2010
- Develop individual projects that share resources in summer 2010, including work with community partners in Peru, Gaza, Brazil, and Boston