Education / 2013
MASTERY LA: Map Learning & Expertise for Lifelong Exploration
MASTERY Campaign Los Angeles is ready to connect the vast talent it has waiting at home - masters in many fields who have time on their hands and interest in making LA a better place to live - with the students who are looking for inspiration and creative action outside of the classroom. Education received the lowest rating in the LA2050 assessment because our schools are failing most of the kids in our system. We do not provide personalized learning options designed to meet the students at their level and interests, nor do we tailor most content for the rich media world that we are creating here in our tech industry. In LAUSD today it is difficult for a student to watch a video or play a game, two essential activities that improve learning interactivity and engagement. We will start by working with the community to provide mobile, alternative access to learning resources outside of the classroom for the thousands currently disengaged from the formal learning system. We will be targeting foster youth, dropouts and those disenfranchised by traditional learning and we will partner with great organizations throughout the city that work hands-on with youth (DIY Girls, Machine Project, Big Art Labs, LA Makerspace are a few identified through the LA2050 events). We aim to create a path for personalized, lifelong learning for all people, connecting the lost and displaced with educational resources across all types of media, people, places and courses of study. MISSION: Be the bridge for lifelong education of foster youth and all people, connecting people ready to learn skills with the masters in our community. Map expertise and comprehend our hidden talent! We can create the virtual support group for these youth to help each other finish their education and move forward to pursue their potential. SOLUTION: Targeting youth age 16-21 for engagement with masters across fields Help with sharing their skills as they develop + connecting to mentors Chart a path to becoming the expert in a new skill and apply for the grants available to achieve goals We will be asking the masters of Los Angeles to share a quick learning path = how they got to be the master in their field and how they choose to share that path with the next generation of creative leaders. We are creating a dynamic interface and network mapping tool for this learning so that we can see how LA connects the dots, shares resources, where the hidden gems are and how to begin empowering LA's youth to work with our masters in a clear and coordinated way. This is more than a mentorship program. MASTERY will include: * Livestreaming hangout series to connect youth around the city * Opportunities to win tablets and learning resource access * Bridge support for grants, funding opportunities and open doors to continuing education for those who may be losing hope * A lifeline and network of care for our disenfranchised youth and their friends throughout the city * Vision for building the future of Los Angeles together by rapidly building skills across fields and sectors, preparing LA for 21st century careers now emerging INDICATOR OBJECTIVES FOR LA2050: * Help at least 1000 kids access financial aid support to follow their path * Map at least 1000 experts across Los Angeles skills, talents, mastery abilities * Meet local design challenges through collaboration and invention in community STRATEGY: Livestreaming broadcast series in Hangouts + YouTube using the EDDEFY tools Host live, interactive events produced in the Vortex Immersion Dome at LA Center Studios (home to Mad Men and a ton of famous film/television projects) that match experts and students and bridge gaps for grants, support and continuing education Use social media to engage with youth and invite participation to find local resources that may be missing on our maps MAP ALL LEARNING: Makerspaces, museums, masters, courses, schools and universities, training programs, places that inspire us and resources from games to books and apps that teach us quickly how to work together and achieve our personal goals. In practice, our events will work a bit like an online game show via Google Hangouts and YouTube, providing access for anyone who can get to YouTube via library or community center. Emancipated youth and those who are transitioning to adulthood will be invited to participate online and these events will build the audience for the live event to be hosted near the end of 2013. Masters will be mapped over the summer and fall of 2013 in partnership with many major events, festivals and community gatherings where people can take a few minutes to share their expertise and put themselves on the map to begin earning a reputation for their mastery.
What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?
Ten years ago I was a schoolteacher for special education, focused on violent offenders age 12-21.
In one program I designed we taught teens to read by using their own music, asking them to rap freestyle into the computer and then sending them home with a CD, their lyrics and the assignment to produce a 2 song album in 9 weeks. Not only did all students complete the assignment, a large portion of the students improved their reading and writing tremendously, many jumping multiple grade levels in a matter of weeks while showing great motivation for the process of creative music production. Two students won demos in local studios for recording contracts and overall engagement and retention of this at-risk population was the highest we witnessed in years of teaching.
I saw the sadness, desperation, the expressions of fear that come from feeling lost - and I also saw that the creative arts education can rapidly change this situation and the motivation of the individual learner.
Our team at EDDEFY met at Singularity University’s graduate program in 2012 at NASA/Ames where we galvanized around a mission to provide educational access to anyone, anywhere, anytime. We saw mobility, ubiquity of resources, tracking and personalization to be essential along with sharing the most engaging learning opportunities available to motivate individuals to be their best and achieve their goals.
Many of us could not SEE THE PATH TO MASTERY and so we began creating the EDDEFY toolkit and this MASTERY campaign for Los Angeles. We aim to map and visualize learning for the city of LA.
So far we have shared the EDDEFY tools in development at startup/technology pitch sessions and at the educational GetIdeas Conference. This week we shared our work at DigitalLA and we will be demoing our product at technology events in LA this year.
Previously my work included transmedia production challenges for audiences of all ages:
- Creating arts events and collaborations including
- Festivals, big events and social connectedness games
- Educational reform through creative pedagogy and curricula
- Cause campaigns for major nonprofits around the world, engaging storytellers to share their work effectively and build momentum for thousands of causes
My team has collectively over 2 decades of experience in formal and informal learning settings along with 3 decades of nonprofit management experience and a vast pool of technology tools and expertise to bring to this process. My cofounders include two PhDs in data sciences for analysis and mapping of the insights we find through this campaign and we won awards in our graduate program for our ability to navigate the subtle challenges of the educational field using the EDDEFY toolkit.
I have served in government, lobbied for computers in all schools when I was 7 years old and continue my lifelong work empowering others to be their best through any media available.
Our network collectively reaches over 100,000 experts in Los Angeles.
Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.
Partners include: C3 (Promotion, arts sponsorship) Vortex Immersion (Host for immersive education events and livestreaming) Global Resolutions (Host us at their event, coproduce social actions) MindshareLA (Experts throughout Los Angeles) Toyshoppe Systems (Special effects, making & engineering) Center for the Greater Good (Social development finance) Maker Studios (YouTube channel production) SimplyNew (Livestreaming event production) TechZulu (Livestreaming reporting and promotionals) Singularity University (Peter Diamandis, advisor) Media Institute for Social Change at USC (Foster care, Youth Rights) GATE (Community experts and distribution partner network) GlobalGirlMedia (Outreach to potential young women participants, journalism)
Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?
We aim to achieve measurable positive outcomes by tracking the progress of youth who opt-in for additional support through their learning, mentorship and transition to adulthood.
The current situation is grim, but the results will be measurable and we have two PhD researchers on our team who will lead a comprehensive qualitative study of usability and learning progress that includes community support for this at-risk population.
Children who emancipate from the child welfare system are unlikely to find safe, affordable housing.
Within 2-4 years of emancipation, 25% of emancipated youth have been homeless for at least one night. In California, 65% of youth leaving care do so without a place to live.
Nearly 40% of transitioning youth will be homeless within eighteen months of discharge. In Los Angeles and Alameda counties, 50% of emancipated youth will be homeless within six months.
Without housing, youth are less likely to complete their education, find employment, and gain access to health care, all of which jeopardize their ability to make a successful transition to independence.
Studies found that between 44 - 77 % of emancipating youth have completed high school as compared to 93% of non-foster care youth. Research shows that only 1% to 5% of foster youth ever graduate from college (we can improve this by a long shot!).
Most foster youth want to go to college, but the facts of life in foster care – often including fractured family relationships, living in group homes, and moving and changing schools frequently – work to prevent many students from fulfilling their educational potential (McMillin, et al, 2003). Foster youth are less likely than the general population to complete high school, and those who do graduate are less likely to go to college (Wolanin, 2005). Among those who do go to college, foster youth are less likely than other students to earn a credential (Davis, 2006).
In 2008-09, 3,136 foster youth in California received Chafee Grants totaling $12 million, but those youth represent only 47 percent of the eligible applicants that year. Many of the eligible applicants were offered grants late in the academic year, at which point they did not meet the enrollment criteria to receive a grant. Over one thousand of them (18 percent) were never offered one due to insufficient program funding.
From a foster youth in CA: “Even twice a year is a lot to move to a whole different school because different schools have different curriculum… What really sucks is that if you don’t have that good support group in high school and if you were moving around all these other times, how are you supposed to get the knowledge to even write well, to read well, to do those kinds of things? … People have to realize that by moving people constantly, by putting them into volatile situations all the time, you’re reducing the time for the foster youth to actually learn anything in school.”
How will your project benefit Los Angeles?
- Map over 1000 masters of Los Angeles to show pockets of expertise and human resources ready to be connected.
- Help youth discover opportunities to continue their education inside and outside traditional learning environments in fun, interactive ways.
- Provide a bridge to funding, grants, technology, training and support for transitional youth who may be falling through the cracks through open events with experts on hand to help.
- Match the masters of LA and the students who are ready to learn new skills for new apprenticeships and guilds.
- Offer events that contribute to cultural/arts/connectedness within our communities through alignments with partners throughout the Los Angeles creative communities and other LA2050 grantees.
- Provide momentum for independent learning with tools to track progress and demonstrate skillbuilding for employment.
- Connect thousands of learning resources already engaging in improving LA and help people find the best community resources for their personal growth.
- Understand how we learn better over time and help each individual find an individual learning path that suits their preferences and abilities.
- Improve dropout rates by providing alternatives that are engaging, local and appropriate for the individual learning profile.
- Encourage mastery learning and 21st century skills by showing the high quality talent already working within Los Angeles and how we can all work together to make a more amazing and creative city together.
- Work together to envision the city we want to live in at hackathon events and city festivals.
- Empower students to finish their GED by making it into an interactive game played in Google Hangouts to bring together transitional youth with opportunities to learn and complete goals.
- Provide easier access to grants and local funding opportunities for foster youth and other young adults who may be prone to homelessness without support.
- Improve literacy and soft skills by utilizing tablets and mobile devices to creatively engage difficult students in new ways, using music, hands-on experiences and local masters to bridge the gaps in learning.
- Create ripple momentum for a @MasteryLA campaign to encourage everyone to become a master in their chosen field and follow their passion through social media and events.
- Encourage youth to share their learning process publically through events, social media, in learning centers and on the EDDEFY platform.
- Map the connections between masters and students and how these relationships evolve over time to understand how to improve local education and mentorship services.
- Identify the areas of the city where services need to be focused for future success between now and 2050.
- Partner with great local resources to grow great relationships between youth and local masters: BuiltinLA, Mentor organizations and Foster Youth organizations: Kids Alliance, ILP, First Place for Youth
What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?
In 2050… Everyone has access to quality educational resources to follow their interests and meet their personal goals.
Everyone can read and write (over 99% literacy).
Over 3 million LAUSD students using over 8,000 buildings and facilities with availability for every child to go to school in a stable community connected to mobile, ubiquitous resources.
Homeschool and flexible open schools are common along with smaller private groups with integrated tools to track progress between formal and informal learning opportunities.
9 million more will graduate by 2050 from the LAUSD School districts collaborate around the globe.
Los Angeles is the 3rd largest city in the Americas with great wealth and abundance - no visible displacement and little visible poverty in community.
Everyone (99+%) can translate to English and speaks/writes in their native language fluently.
Everyone (99+%) can manage finances and basic math abilities.
Scores are no longer measured in points but LA has one of the stronger educational indicators in the Americas.
Graduation performance 90%+ verified through personal communication device as all basic paths are pursued.
Every student is given personal choices to explore that suit their interests and weave in basic skills appropriate for advanced university studies and mastery.
Applications in Spanish and any language make barriers to completion easier to overcome for at least 60% of the emigrant populations, including video that’s live and subtitled to many languages for instant translation.
Afterschool opportunities from incubators to collaboration zones are open every afternoon for thousands of nomadic youth, including advanced study in technology and physical sports/abilities.
Sensors and ubiquitous computing allow for learning anywhere, anytime to be tracked and demonstrated for public success and growth.
Wearable technology is common and used by students to capture daily moments, remix culture and create new options while engaged in tasks throughout the city.
Immersion learning happens in domes, in classrooms, on the walls and floors and on any smart surface surrounding us.
Access is available at any time to anyone.
The wide variety of learning preferences and abilities are respected in our communities and we value the unique gifts of those currently sequestered in special educational programs.
Los Angeles leads the world in educational access for all, ensuring that everyone can pursue their potential and demonstrate success across fields, tracking the everyday actions that lead to learning outside of the classroom.
Everyone deserves a quality education and we can provide an alternative to the traditional classroom environment that’s experiential, personalized to the individual learning needs and localized to match the interests of the individual with the resources in their community.