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Researchers Working Group
Using Data to Engage Youth in their Neighborhoods
Welcome to the Department of Play
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. [
In our first year we have successfully:
Gathered like-minded r
esearchers/activists in weekly meetings
community working group in Boston
, including local
activists, educators, researchers, students, and community practitioners,
to discuss approaches to youth engagement, explore opportunities and challenges in the field, and collaborate on new tools/curriculum
Developed a "neighborhood explorers'
" with 2-3 new technology tools and corresponding curriculum and aids
individual projects that share resources
. Summer 2010 initiatives included work with
in West Bank, Gaza, in Brazil, and Boston
Interested in joining? Contact
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