This summer of 2013, thousands of young Chicagoans will continue learning while school is out, thanks to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuels citywide Chicago Summer of Learning initiative, the largest coordinated summer learning effort in the country. Summer of Learning will specifically focus learning activities around science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The City of Chicago teamed up with the MacArthur Foundation and Mozilla to be the first city to pilot a citywide digital badge system that visually represents and rewards students achievements. The badges in the Chicago Summer of Learning will recognize learning across all of the summer programs in the initiative, whether at a park, museum, library or online course, giving learners digital credentials that communicate the skills that they have developed. The badges the youth earn will unlock additional learning opportunities and challenges. All of the badge information can be carried back to schools and job fairs during the school year. These badges are earned by completing activities in various pathways available from the Chicago Summer of Learning hub site. App Invention using App Inventor is one of these pathways.
Arun Saigal and I went out to Chicago to lead a few workshops to Chicago youth and mentors who are part of this summer's Chicago Summer of Learning. Some of the students involved with CSOL come to the drop in center located at DePaul University every day for a Digital Divas program run through the Digital Youth Network. Others come every week wth their summer camp through the Chicago Park District. Some students are not involved in any camps but interested in learning as much as they can over the summer. Here are some photos from our workshops.
If you're interested in learning more about Chicago Summer of Learning, check out the homepage.