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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Let's collaborate to learn about the diversity of living things on earth!

Let's collaborate to learn about the diversity of living things on earth!

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I'm Yoshiro Miyata in Aichi, Japan. I am especially interested in how children from different cultures around the world can communicate with each other using new Technologies! 2010 is the "International Year of Biological Diversity", and Aichi is hosting COP10, an international conference on "biological diversity", an important theme relevant to everyone living on earth (http://www.cop10.jp/aichi-nagoya/english/index.html). I am organizing a project in which many children and adults in the world can learn about the diversity of living things on earth. For this purpose, we will use a software called "Scratch", developed at the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group at MIT Media Lab, and is used by tens of thousands of children around the world. Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. (Quoted from MIT Scratch site: http://info.scratch.mit.edu/About_Scratch) This year, May 22, the international day of biodiversity, is also Scratch Day (http://day.scratch.mit.edu/). Scratch Day is a worldwide network of gatherings, where people come together to meet other Scratchers, share projects and experiences, and learn more about Scratch. Last year, together with fellow Scratchers in Japan, we organized three Scratch Day events in different places in Japan, and by connecting these events in a variety of ways, including online streaming and collaborations, we and our participants of all ages enjoyed the process of creating socially sharable meaning together. Connecting local events online enabled us to have more global perspectives and helped us to construct meaning that goes far beyond individual Scratch programs. We are planning to further develop this collaboration toward Scratch Day 2010, to collaboratively express the diversity of living things on earth. So far, we plan to connect several events from MIT, New Zealand, Nagoya and Tokyo, and would like to invite more people to join this project! The more diverse places on earth we can connect, the more diversely we will be able to learn about the living things on earh! For more details about this project see: http://day.scratch.mit.edu/forum/219 If you are interested, or have any questions/opinions, please comment below, or in the forum linked above. Looking forward to connecting with many of you!!

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