Testing online social networking tools within a game-based school curriculum to help children actively design how they learn about health and wellness

Although a majority of online teens use social networking sites, few online resources provide them the opportunity to explore issues of health and wellness. The Institute of Play and Quest to Learn, the Institute's pioneering 6th to 12th grade school based on a gaming literacy model, created a social networking site called Being Me where teens learn about, manage, and potentially transform their own ecologies of health and wellness. Critical aspects of their lives like body image, peer pressure, and "what it is they are interested in doing, thinking about and being" can be explored in "highly immersive, game-like learning experiences." Additionally, Being Me's Being Well curriculum offers students opportunities to share, grow and experiment with identity in their school community. As Katie Salen, Institute of Play director, says, "These are digital kids. They?ve already transformed society. Why not education?" And why not their own healthful identities?

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $285,000.00

Awarded on: 12/16/2008

Time frame: 1/1/2009 - 6/30/2010

Grant Number: 64488


Institute of Play

19 West 24th Street, 12th Floor
New York, 10010-3310


Katie Salen
Project Director