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Globaloria

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Jan 1, 2013
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Company: World Wide Workshop, 113 W. 78th St., Suite 3, New York, NY 10024, 646-895-9167; Websites: http://worldwideworkshop.org, www.globaloria.org.

Price: Contact World Wide Workshop for subscription licensing options based on the number of users and the services and training purchased.

Audience: Globaloria is used with middle and high schools, alternative education programs, community colleges, or universities.

Format: Globaloria is a web-based, multitool system that uses both the internet and desktop computers. Among its many tools are a wiki, the web, games and simulations, videos, tutorials, and a blog.

System Requirements: Globaloria requires student computer access for 6–8 hours a week without sharing and a laptop for each educator. Each computer should have internet access with Flash software (CS5 or higher). Check specific computer requirements before purchasing, along with other needed multimedia equipment. Firefox 3 or higher with Adobe Flash Player 10 plug-in, Chrome, or Safari are recommended. Internet Explorer is not recommended.

Description: Globaloria is a social learning network that enables students to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge and job skills through game design. It includes a set of simple examples, tutorials, and simulations in a customizable, 1-year curriculum. A blog is used to log experiences, conduct dialogue, and support one another, with additional support and tools provided through an administrative interface. Games and tutorials created by classes can be published online.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Installation is a matter of subscribing to the service, being sure adequate desktops, servers, and other equipment, as well as web access, browsers, etc., are available. Teacher training is essential, some of which needs to be done before using the program with students. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Most students use video games to some extent, and Globaloria is an attempt to incorporate that fact of modern day life into classroom learning. It is a large program with a lot of components that require time to learn and use. In view of that, World Wide Workshop has established what it calls “participation requirements” for purchasers of the program.

Globaloria can be a class in and of itself, can be incorporated into other STEM classes to support curriculum, or can be enrich-ment/elective classes. It would be ideal in a flipped classroom situation in which students read/view material at home and practice at school. Also, STEM classes could be supported by creating simulations or tutorials rather than games.

To effectively implement Globaloria, teachers need to be enthusiastic about new pedagogies and must be willing to use them to engage students. Teachers need to devote 7–10 hours a week and attend 2-day Training Academies and 12 virtual seminars throughout the year. Principals and superintendents need to devote some time as well. In addition to adequate computer access, students need a 90-minute block schedule for two semesters.

Students play a few simple games to get the idea, plan their own games, develop a prototype using drawings and videotape, do the programming in Flash ActionScript, publish the game, and then play some games and start again. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: As with many complicated, multifaceted programs, Globaloria has a fairly high learning curve. Teachers need to spend time learning the material, and students need ample help and guidance. However, documentation is clear, and lots of training and help is available. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: In addition to lots of training, virtual seminars, documentation, and seminars, continued 24/7 virtual support from Globaloria experts is available. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: While Globaloria is a demanding program in terms of equipment and training, it is well-designed and well worth the effort for schools with enough technology. I recommend it for use with all middle and high school students. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (chasgd62@gmail.com) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Michigan. For the past 14 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools .


 
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