This article reflects upon the LRNG.org’s Partner Handbook, a guide for creating XPs, playlists and badges.
Being active, fit, and an athlete is a lifestyle. Many of the “lifestyle sports” are included within the Play.CLOH.org grant proposals of 2016. Swimming, water polo, golf, kayaking, running and ultimate are certainly lifestyle sports. These activities have a lot going on, plenty of “mojo,” much to emulate.
As we work together to make learning a lifestyle, let’s work within the lifestyle sports and insure that learning is included there, in obvious ways, so that plenty of others can join, follow-along, and embrace this lifestyle of learning. To create lifelong learning, use recreation.
Giving young people better tools in their preparation for life gets top billing at Play.CLOH.org. A robust suite of additional enrichment activities and experiences for better preparing youngsters is needed and welcomed.
Sadly, many of the opportunities provided for inter-city kids are frail. Often, the institutional hurdles are high and frequent. Our swim team can’t have practices on Saturdays and Sundays. Go figure. The older kids can’t be fooled. Perpetual defeat is a buzz kill.
Let’s support the drive and desire for being dedicated, determined and disciplined. Athletes have those passions, especially when they’re improving, having fun and a sense of fairness comes within their competitive landscapes. Our kids should feel the support – then, they rise to meet challenges. Here, we can compete with anyone, anywhere. Kids, you can receive the help to become the best you can be, and that means that some are sure to become the best in the world. For everyone on the team in the community, that makes life exciting. That’s the fun lifestyle that trains minds and bodies.
High school kids who come to understand and trust the vision of Creating Literate Olympians Here can make it so. The mind leads and the body follows. They go together. The mind never leaves the body. The learning never stops. Play.CLOH.org aims to better align-and-unify mind-and-body. Play.CLOH.org prevents the divorce between the two.
Learning, teaching and playing is for the young and not-so-young. The target market for LRNG.org is 13 to 24. Why stop at 24? The system of digital badges at Play.CLOH.org champions lifelong learning for those who want to live a long life. Play unifies the young and not-so-young and prevents the divorce among the age groups. It is important to engage the kids, and everyone else.
Plenty of opportunities are within these plans that speak directly to the circle of life. In Pittsburgh, our co-ed masters’ water polo team generally beats the region’s best high school boys’ team. It was an epic moral victory, and lots of fun, when the North Allegheny high school boys squad tied the Pittsburgh Masters squad at a game in the 2016 CMU tournament.
Play.CLOH.org efforts make spaces and interesting challenges so that the seasoned 50-year-olds get to buck up with the youngsters in their prime in underwater hockey, speed golf, aquatic SKWIM, ultimate, pull-ups, goal-setting, sport-first-aid, computer animation and app development. Learning lifetime-and-lifestyle lessons goes beyond age 24. Health and wellness is not a guarantee for many in communities where violence, drug use and poverty are pervasive.
Some XPs, playlists, pathways and badges within Play.CLOH.org are tagged #Lifelong_LRNG_Lifestyle when suited for inter-generational settings.
The Introduction’s “home base” can’t be confused with “home plate” nor “base camp.”
Baseball has a different concept of being “home.” In baseball, one must summon sizable amounts of courage to step-up-to-the-plate at home. Getting to home as a base runner signals a long-trip around the diamond’s three other bases. Regardless of the illustration and baseball’s vocabulary, Play.CLOH.org makes loud calls for great teams of people to step out of their comfort zones, to be present elsewhere, to be prepared by thinking ahead and to reflect, log and digitize their insights along their ways.
Both LRNG and Play.CLOH.org aim to connect communities around shared goals. The design pillars of LRNG match well among the goals and quarters of Play.CLOH.org. The over-arching goal is playing well with others. LRNG and Play.CLOH.org play well together.
LRNG’s four design pillars: Craft Experiences, Gather Communities, Build the World, and Unlock Opportunities
Play.CLOH.org features four design pillars too within its playlist for the Tech Captains badge. Plenty of overlap and common ground exists. The Play.CLOH.org “pillars” are called “quarters.” Quarter One is Present. Quarter Two is Play. Quarter Three is Technology. Quarter Four is Development. Plenty of common ground exists.
The alignment of the LRNG.org pillars and Play.CLOH.org quarters are slightly different, but the sequence of the pillars as well as quarters are not paramount.
|Similarities of LRNG & Play.CLOH||LRNG Pillars||Play.CLOH.org Quarters|
|#||4 Pillars||4 Quarters|
|1||Craft Experiences||Play Well with Others|
|Learners choose.||Focus on passions of: sports, recreation, aquatics, outdoors, fitness.|
|2||Gather Communities||Being Present|
|Provide opportunities to learn through relationships, introductions, orientation. Calls to meaningful interactions with diverse community of mentors and experts. Not Just a Game (film). Challenge youth to engage with code of conduct.||Build their own identity and wiki page.|
|3||Build the World||Technology|
|Use modern Tech for self-expression. Publish. Solve real world problems. Revise and improve code.|
|4||Unlock Opportunities||Human Development|
|Experiences move to new opportunities. Connect to future career and learning paths. Imagine bigger concept maps of achievements.||Goal setting. Learn volition. College recruiting. On to lifeguards, instructors and Rookie Coaches Badges|
Play.CLOH.org efforts consider “Why” first. “How” should be informed by “Why.” In other words, the method and activities should be informed by the purpose.
The why behind the digital badges called Tech Captains becomes clear as dozens of high school students are hired to serve as coaches, instructors, lifeguards and camp leaders for Swim & Water Polo Camp. All workers are not equal.
In 2015, 40+ employees coached more than 200 students at 10 different pools. The best employees have been high school swimmers on the Obama varsity swim team. Other athletes, but not full-time swimmers, have been great workers too. Of course the varsity swimmers know the routines, expectations and drills of the head coach. Having played the games and understanding the rules matters. They know the communication style of the boss, can read emails and be responsible to their duties. The more valuable employees have been the ones with a prior relationships with the program leader, their fellow workers and the activities. The greatness days at camp come when varsity swimmers perform and lead the younger students in grades 3 to 7.
Pittsburgh has a proven demand and available facilities to train more than 2,000 youngsters in a Swim & Water Polo Camp in the summers. Throughout the winter, Pittsburgh has the available facilities to train more than 6,000 swimmers.
Sticking points for growing the programs to reach thousands of kids are a shortage of coaches for staff positions and a lacking political will by certain individuals in high positions. The awarding of educational grants would help to sway the opinions among certain administration in the school district.
Throughout the school year, about 40 kids are involved in the varsity swim teams, boys and girls at Obama. In the district of 30,000 students, Pittsburgh has about 250 swimmers among all the schools and grades.
However, a staff of more than 100 would be needed to lead campers by the thousands. The pathway to to the Tech Captains badges can help to develop the individuals who can join the staff for future camps.
An All-City Sports Camp has been proposed. However, other posts are already being filled in the community. Citiparks, the YMCA, Sarah Heinz House, Hosanna House, Pittsburgh Ultimate, Venture Outdoors, Big Leagues, First Tee of Pittsburgh and our Swim & Water Polo Camp hire camp instructors. The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center hire about 150 kids, ages 14 to 21, for the city’s summer youth employment program.
In 2017 and beyond, it would be great if the individuals who have LRNG digital badges could take a merit-based bypass of the job lottery. Not all the kids get hired with the city’s youth job program called Learn & Earn. Those with digital badges should get hired first. That way, digital badges would unlock opportunities.
Every youngster in Pittsburgh could learn to swim and be a part of the sportsmanship and teamwork experiences of an All City Sports Camp after 400 participants have been trained in the process of playing well with others in the quest for Play.CLOH.org Tech Captain digital badges. But there is more. Existing camp experiences are already offered in the community by many of the supporting agencies and institutions within the Play.CLOH.org network. Those camps hire high school students. Every camp can benefit with more enhanced staff preparations with year-round XPs.
The Tech Captains digital badges help to tighten the circle of life. Consider the growth of a youngster who is a camper at age 10 and then becomes a motivated learner at age 13 and grows into a valued junior instructor in a camp at age 15 to then hooks up in a camp-coaching role at age 17.
For the high school students, fitting in the time for training, playing, competing, studying, resting, planning, socializing, learning, and instructing other youngsters is demanding work that can be made somewhat less burdensome with the hope of a pathway charted to meaningful badges from Play.CLOH.org.
Many of the young adults at age 19 are doing college internships.
The connected learning approach prioritizes experience over knowledge transfer, formation over facts. It centralizes the importance of community connections, real-world relevancy and digital technologies. The approach bridges connections between communities, content, and practitioners. When successful, it brings together learner’s passions, people, and paths.
Pittsburgh’s shared passions: Sports, Technology, Our Children. Pittsburgh is a sports town. Pittsburgh is also a technology town. Our kids are a passion for many too. Play.CLOH.org connects these common passions of sports, fitness and wellness to technology for our kids. With this approach, the entire community can be responsible. Schools, nonprofits, companies, gamers, governments, caregivers, mentors, and peers are all involved in Play.CLOH.org.