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One of our annual goals is to increase access to opportunities and experiences through technology. Chicago City of Learning does it. iRemix does it. And since 2014, our aptly named Broadening Participation initiative does it. Ugochi Acholonu leads this research initiative, and recently she presented a summary of programmatic efforts in 2015. Here’s a brief look at some of the presentation.

First she talked about a student’s ecosystem of learning pathways:

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Next up was Hour of Code that DYN hosted at DePaul University. The number of participates and potentially increased interest in coding and designing was substantial.
– 639 Students from Chicago Public Schools
– 412 Badges earned to represent their learning experience.
– 12 different schools participated


Finally connecting Minecraft to deeper connected learning. While kids are building and designing, they are reaching achievements. The BP team has designed some achievements to translate into badges to mark important skill accomplishments. Using an existing framework like Minecraft to add custom achievements and badges is our next step for connecting outside of school activities to highlight their interests and skill sets inside of school.

In 2016 badges earned in our Minecraft universe will get pushed to Chicago City of Learning. This will allows students to see their programs and skills learned and to share those accomplishments with mentors, parents, teachers and employers.

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