Enter a competition to support youth in building a better web

May 22, 2013
By Educator Innovator

For young people who ‘live on the web’, making the web a better place is an ideal version of community engagement and betterment. And they have many ideas about what a better web could be. Project:Connect engages youth-serving organizations in supporting young people to take on the challenge of creating a better web community.


An opportunity and a challenge

Project:Connect is a competition for organizations to imagine ways to bring youth together to take on the challenge of digital citizenship. The Digital Media and Learning Competition, administered by HASTAC and supported by the MacArthur Foundation, and in collaboration with the Born This Way Foundation and Mozilla, is calling for proposals that offer youth a chance to “Project:Connect” this summer. The Project:Connect-Summer Youth Programming Competition for U.S. based organizations that support learning, youth development and civic engagement calls for Summer event and programming proposals to excite and enable youth to engage the web in civil, collaborative, productive, safe, and confidence-building ways.

Deadline: Online applications are due June 10, 2013, at 5pm PST. How to apply.

Timeline: Project:Connect-Youth Summer Programs will be held July-September, 2013. Full timeline.

Awards: Up to $10,000 per institution; winners to be announced in early July 2013.

Winning proposals will create:

  • Social Tools for Social Good – Enabling people to create a culture of kindness, respect, and safety that enhances civic participation for youth.
  • Social Tools that Enable Control of Information – Helping youth understand how to control their information, and manage privacy and security.
  • Social Tools that Enable Literacy – Helping youth build, access, and understand the web in ways that support interest-driven learning, and empower learners to connect in safe ways with resources, mentors, and peers.

Program participants may design or create:

  • Social apps – Create apps, including mobile apps, that promote and enable civic engagement with peers, community building, and kindness to others.
  • Badging programs – Create apps, including mobile apps, that leverage badging and other recognition and feedback methods to inspire youth to develop civic engagement with peers and community building in connected, cooperative, collaborative, safe, and respectful ways.
  • Learning content – Create learning content, curricula, media promotions, and other approaches about how to foster a more engaged, egalitarian, safe, and sharing internet.

What kinds of programs might Project:Connect Summer Youth Programs create?

  • Hackathons, that involve youth in connection with mentoring developers and educators in designing, prototyping, and/or coding software; or developing learning programs that promote a better web for learning through connecting and connecting through learning.
  • Digital learning labs, that provide hands-on experience using digital tools for connecting safely, collaborating purposefully, and communicating effectively via the web.
  • Testing labs, that involve young people in evaluating software and online learning programs that promote good web citizenship, or a better web for learning and sharing.
  • Mentoring or leadership workshops, that identify potential peer instructors and mentors, and provide them with opportunities to learn how to support and mentor others effectively and respectfully in web-based connected learning programs and applications.
  • Journalism and communications labs, where young people – acting as reporters, bloggers, and podcasters – participate in the creation of public media that engages questions of equity, good citizenship, privacy, collaboration, and sharing on the web.
  • Badge development workshops, that provide youth with the tools to develop badges for recognizing and rewarding effective digital citizenship, promoting privacy, effective web participation, and connected learning opportunities.

If this sounds like something your and your Educator Innovator colleagues would want to explore, visit the full campaign website for details about the competition, the RFP, and the partners behind Project:Connect.