Helping Children Actively Design How They Learn about Health and Wellness

The Institute of Play tests an online social networking tool within a game-based school curriculum

Field of Work: Online social networks for education

Problem Synopsis: Youth rarely have the chance to craft their own strategies around health and wellness within contexts relevant to them. Yet reports show that 57 percent, or about 12 million, teens ages 12 to 17 create online content such as blogs, Web pages, original artwork, photos, stories and videos.

Synopsis of the Work:
The Institute of Play created an online social network, Being Me, to allow sixth-graders at Quest to Learn—a new school in New York City that uses digital technology and “game-like learning”—to explore, discover and document a range of ideas related to health and wellness.

Key Results:
To empower and engage students, the Institute of Play created and launched Being Me, to complement Quest to Learn’s wellness curriculum. Students use the social networking site to post videos, photos, audio, games and writing; create and contribute to blogs and debates; and find mentors and collaborators—all while exploring and developing their own health and wellness.