Intro to Model Programs
Often the greatest challenge for a novice afterschool educator is how to launch a new effort, especially if technology is involved.
At YouthLearn, we recognize that the good work practitioners are doing in established programs can inform and inspire others in the field, especially if the program activities, qualities, and strategies for success are well documented. One of our key services is to capture and share this wealth of information for educators in the field of afterschool.
The programs below have been selected to spotlight the breadth of approaches one can take in harnessing technology afterschool. These are not intended to be all inclusive, but rather illustrative of the range of programs that are successfully integrating technology. To compile these profiles, we conducted interviews with program staff and included their own descriptions of their work along with our summaries based on these conversations. Click here to view how we organized these profiles.
- After-School Learning Center (ASLC) is a school-based afterschool program at Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC) in San Francisco, California. The program includes a variety of project-based learning activities supporting homework, language arts, creative arts, IT skill development and civic engagement in collaboration with teachers at the A.P. Giannini Middle School. more
- Girls Creating Games is an after-school program for middle school girls in grades 6-8 developed by Education, Training Research Associates (ETR). The program meets twice a week for two hours for twelve weeks at New Brighton Middle School in Capitola, California. Participants in this program create computer games, which are interactive story narratives, with Macromedia's Flash™ program. more
- Missouri 4-H After School Computer Labs Project is an afterschool program that Missouri 4-H Youth Development offers in more than 100 public schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, public housings, youth-based organizations and community centers. The participants, who are of elementary and early middle school ages, collaboratively play computer games to learn linguistic, artistic, architectural, and technological factors embedded in the games. more
- ECHOES Program is an afterschool multimedia arts and civic engagement program targeting youth in San Diego, California. The junior and junior-high middle school and high school youth attend this program for 10 months to work on their new media journalism, digital photography, and graphic design projects while acquiring basic journalism skills through the partnership with the San Diego School District. more
- Project ACCELERATE (A Child-focused Collaborative Expanding Learning through Engagement with Relevant Activities and Technology-based Education) is an afterschool math program administered through The Children's Museum of Houston (CMH), Texas. The youth in 2nd-6th grades participate in this program to learn standards-based math principles through twenty-five hands-on and Internet-based activities. more
- Spaghetti Book Club is an afterschool language arts program that integrates reading, writing, art and technology by teaching elementary and middle school youth how to write book reviews that are published on the Spaghetti Book Club website. The program is implemented in various school and afterschool settings throughout the United States and internationally. more
- Apollo's Vision Club, Inc. is an after-school robotics program currently partnered with the Napa Street Elementary School in Northridge, California.The participants of this program who are in the 4th and 5th grades meet for three hours on Saturdays during a twelve-week-session. The participants, parents and adult mentors, co-operate to complete projects in designing, building, programming, and investigating their own robots with computer assisted design programs according to their interests. more
- Long Beach YMCA Youth Institute is an afterschool youth development program at the YMCA of Greater Long Beach in California, which integrates technology into literacy, media arts, career development, and civic engagement projects for academic success. High school youth start this program during the summer to work through team-building exercises, and participate in an intensive technology program during the year. more
The program profiles in this section have been organized to give readers practical ideas for developing technology-integrated afterschool activities. These profiles are the result of extensive research into promising programs and detailed interviews with leading practitioners.
Each profile features an About the Program section which summarizes general information such as goals, curriculum, academic links, and funding information, as well as a Challenges & Strategies section which features the dynamic voices of program leaders reflecting on their efforts to develop effective programs. We asked our subjects to share first-hand their strategies to inform other developing programs and practitioners. We believe that using direct quotations is the most effective/efficient way of delivering what was shared through our interview process. Note that the use of the term challenges is by no means intended to imply that programs have problems or are failings in their objectives. Rather, we hoped to identify those factors that have influenced the various approaches that each organization has chosen to strengthen their programs. These strategies are often unique instructional methods that programs utilize in planning, implementing and evaluating effective technology-based afterschool activities. Each profile also includes a More Information section that displays additional information about the programs, as well as related research articles and resources that we hope will help you further explore powerful ways of integrating technology into afterschool programs.
Our sincere thanks to all the programs that have graciously shared their time and experience to make this information available.