CivicsLab

CivicsLab quoted in Forbes Magazine!

March 26, 2010
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The article begins by saying:

“Women are increasingly eager to ride the game wave. Many find gaming helps them increase their comfort level with technology and assist their career advancement. “The average age of gamers in the U.S. is 35,” says Phaedra Boinidiris, founder of WomenGamers.com and product manager for IBM‘s ( IBM news people ) Serious Games Group. “In fact, 38% of console gamers and 43% of PC gamers are women. The stereotype of a gamer as a 14-year-old boy couldn’t be further from the truth.”

-read…read…read-

“Games are a good space for women to grow more comfortable in being assertive decision makers and leaders,” says Laura Staniland, co-founder of CivicsLab LLC, where she leads game creation.”

Full article here.

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Health Care Class

March 24, 2010
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This morning I was late to a class where we are learning how to use Adobe After Effects. After sitting down, I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to catch up during class, so I signed on to twitter (shhh don’t tell). The first thing I saw was the White House’s tweet saying that they were about to live stream the President signing the health care bill. I looked around, realized the TA wouldn’t notice, muted the computer and clicked the link that the White House had sent out. There I sat for the next twenty minutes watching this historic moment live from a computer in class. “Who is the little kid standing next to Obama?”, I tweeted. A friend quickly tweeted back, “The little boy at the signing lost his mother to cancer I believe. She couldn’t afford health insurance and/or got denied”. It occurred to me that I witnessed history by clicking my mouse a couple of times.




Peace.

-Laura Staniland-


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Ride the Wave

March 24, 2010
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Last night I was part of a Google Wave webinar. However, I was also tracking the results of the Veon court case on twitter. On top of that, I was text messaging a friend with the results of the court case while also IM-ing important pieces of information from the Google Wave webinar to Ben. Through it all I kept thinking the coverage of the Veon court case was a really spectacular use of new media. There were descriptions of the emotional environment in the room and peoples’ reactions as well as the verdicts. Even one of the people involved in the case tweeted when he was pronounced not guilty! I’m still trying to fully understand the impact of all these technologies and their uses on the world.

Laura


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Trending topics, C-Span?!

March 24, 2010
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On Sunday, I sat down and watched C-Span for longer than I ever have in my life. I don’t know about anyone else but watching “C-Span” rise as a trending topic on twitter made my heart go pitter-patter (a historic once in a lifetime event?). I have been talking to some friends about the effect new media had on public opinion regarding this legislation. I will post more about that in a couple of days.

What do you think?


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Back from a break

March 24, 2010
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It has been a funny four days for me.

If you don’t know, I have epilepsy. After months of being just fine, I suddenly had a seizure at a coffee shop on my way to the Fred Forward Innovation Showcase in Pittsburgh where I was looking forward to seeing cool technology and social media being used for the benefit of children. Instead, I awoke to find myself in the hospital…without a cell signal and *only* a newspaper. A newspaper with headlines I had read the night before! I sat there for hours without a cell signal wishing with much of my being that I could access ubertwitter. That feeling reminded me how much information I have at my finger tips all day and night long. Not just any news, either. But news that happened within the past hour, half hour, fifteen minutes, or sometimes 30 seconds. No wonder newspapers are struggling!

Laura


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About author

Focusing on the Southwestern Pennsylvania region, CivicsLab puts elementary and middle school students in virtual control of decision-making in their communities to encourage civic participation, critical thinking, and sense of place. In CivicsLab, players will assume positions of power in the community from an urban, suburban or rural perspective and explore how decisions-based on social need and demand, proper planning (as defined by our civic experts), political pressure, and most importantly, their imaginations-might impact the community. Through manipulation of real mapping information and current data sets, students navigate social and political pressures to explore the cause and effect of civic investment and public policy as they attempt to create a sustainable future for their region.

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