by Adam Majewski, staff member and recent Pitt graduate
The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, with support from the Sprout Fund through their City of Learning initiative, is bringing tablet technology into the classroom for the Summer Dreamer Swim & Water Polo and Mindful Eating camps this summer. This development is part of an effort to improve learning outcomes in and out of the classroom and to improve technology literacy. Digital badges are set to provide the incentive, direction, and visibility for students to improve their knowledge, skills, and character. The classroom tablets are a means to both connect the summer dreamers with these badges and to provide a learning environment that teaches the precepts of technology literacy.
Digital badges provide a means of rewarding and showcasing students’ learning achievements outside of the traditional classroom setting. They are a showcase for student knowledge and skill that can be displayed across the internet as a means of demonstrating students’ career readiness or aptitude to collaborate in multi-media projects, for instance. The Pittsburgh City of Learning effort is encouraging groups like Summer Dreamers, the Carnegie Library, and Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment Program to develop badges to showcase the skills, knowledge, and abilities that participants develop through city-wide programs. This is because preparation for the future is a task that requires the whole community, not just one institution, to achieve for the youth of the city.
The Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo program, with the help of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, is one of the programs leading the way in this City of Learning initiative. By showcasing the knowledge and skills that prepare learners for future fitness health and employment opportunity, the digital badges for the Swim & Water Polo camp are set to dynamically improve the visibility of Pittsburgh Public School students’ learning and achievement outside the schoolroom. Coupled with the availability of tablets through the program, students will be able to display their talents better than ever before, through the internet and other digital media. These digital badges provide one more resource for students to diversify their skills and knowledge and display their talent to the rest of the community.