MS 391 - Bullying, Gaming and Coding

Global Kids Leaders at MS 391 have been working hard learning elements of games, basics of coding HTML and discussing social issues. 


In our Game Design program students play tested SimSweatshop, a game that puts players in the shoes of factory workers attempting to make sneakers. As time accumulated they saw how their energy levels would quickly deplete, the small amount of money they accumulated, and how their overall quality of life was affected. During our debrief students shared facts about child labor and related it back to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They also discussed the mechanics of the game and whether it got the message across to the players. We continued our talk of games using Gamestar Mechanic's basic element cards. Youth played a matching game to learn game design vocabulary. 


Coby, Julio and Anthony matching photos to terms. 


In our Digital Expressions program this year we are focusing on web design. Students had previously used Mozilla's Hackasaurus tool to learn basic elements of HTML and remix an existing page. At our next session we dove deeper by introducing the youth to Codeacademy. They learned the importance of opening and closing tags by playing an interactive game together and were then able to use it in practice through Codeacademy's lessons. 


MS 391 Students learning how Codeacademy works


As part of the program youth will be developing a website on a global issue of their choice that would provide visitors with resources. The young people made clear they wanted to learn more about bullying. Through interactive games we discussed what bullying is, why it happens, how it makes someone feel, and what can we do to prevent it. 


Lexington, Tyrone and Jose sharing some examples of bullying


Some of the student responses (click to enlarge)


After learning about bullying students logged on to BitStrips and began to work on the Stop Bullying! activities provided. Bitstrips allows students to make creative comics by having highly customizable avatars, settings, and props to use. For this session, they were able to choose from various bullying scenarios from cyberbullying, physical bullying, verbal and so on. While many of their comic strips are still in progress, you can check out one made by Coby below. 


MS 391 Digital Expressions group featuring Anthony, Coby, Davianna, Destiny, Elijah, J.D., Jose, Julio, Justin, Lexington, Tyrone, and GK Staff Member Joliz in avatar form. 


Coby's Bitstrip on bullying.