Q2L After School Program: Mobo

| May 19, 2010

After school programs for enrichment have become a common occurrence offered by schools today. Quest to Learn (Q2L), the school created by members of the Institute of Play and which promotes a game-based, systems perspective on learning opened its doors this fall in NYC. Not surprisingly, they offer an outside program called Mobo

The Mobo studio focuses on digital citizenship, creativity and design for mobile platforms. Mobo Studio extends Q2L’s focus on tinkering, problem-solving, creating, and inventing. In a studio-like environment, it brings together experts in their fields to empower Q2L students to take on the roles of designers, inventors and creativity specialists.

Projects enable students to use curiosity and explore personal interests as they are paired with talented designers and educators to guide them in their inquiries. For example, one project consisted of a fashion show put on by members of the club. As a part of a challenge to create a line of accessories that function as coded messaging systems, a group begin by examining their own closets and de-coding their own personal styles. The group researched fashion history, mastered sewing machines and pattern-making and prototyped a range of design ideas. The group also analyzed the nature of code and used smartphones to investigate braille, morse code and semacode as unique systems.

As a result of these ‘wearable technology’ investigations, the group produced the “txt scarf,” a scarf that carries a phone and enables texting and the “semacode purse,” a purse that both holds the phone and displays semacodes that reveal secret messages.

These kind of after school programs are exciting to hear about and add to the trajectory of how this trend is developing. They are also raising the bar of expectations for what schools offer outside the hours of the traditional ‘school day’.