Seedplay empowers the iGeneration with a high-tech platform linking learning to real world problems they can address with innovative projects that transform their school and community, while securely growing a global network of micro-funders and fans.

Jersey City, NJ (July 28, 2010) – CORE K12, an international education company dedicated to providing useful, practical technology solutions to K-12 educators, announced today the release of Seedplay. In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, Seedplay provides educators with a low-cost, high-tech solution that maximizes student engagement, enrollment, and achievement. Seedplay leverages the iGeneration’s natural affinity for social networking to link learning to leadership. Seedplay empowers every student to identify a real world problem facing their school or community, which they can then address with a solution in the form of a project.

Students form teams, launch their projects, and tap into a global support network of micro-funders and fans who help them reach their goals. Students grow this support network over time and use it in future projects. Developed by Harlan Gaston and marketed by CORE K12, Seedplay is designed to help students identify a need within their community, propose a solution in the form of a project plan, form a team of peer collaborators, and reach a variety of potential funders, micro-donors and stakeholders across the globe who support them in completing each project.

Teachers use the Seedplay curriculum to guide students through a process of creating a project plan, which includes action plans, budgets and organizational models to govern each project. “The building blocks of every successful human endeavor are part of the Seedplay curriculum,” explains Gaston. “Entrepreneurs, executives, researchers, and virtually all professionals at the top of their industry utilize a particular skill set that we offer students who use Seedplay. We created the program as a platform to engage and empower the full spectrum of students across curricula, from the most at-risk to those identified as gifted. In any case, we have real data showing that students taking part in Seedplay are raising their education to the next level.”

Kevin Howell, CORE K12 president, adds, “During our recent pilot program at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles Unified School District, we worked with a population of 1,800 students, of which more than 40% are in foster care and have an API below 600. Many just don’t show up for school or have any incentive to participate once they arrive. Of the 180 students involved with the Seedplay pilot program this summer, all had improved attendance and showed real engagement in their classes. And several students have actual projects that are in the funding stage right now.”

“Turning around disengaged students while keeping the brightest interested is a real challenge for us,” concurs Maynard Brown, teacher at Crenshaw High School Business Academy. “We are always seeking new ways to create learning opportunities that are challenging and enriching. Seedplay fit the bill because it supports learning in a way this generation of students, called the iGeneration, understands and with which they interact on a daily basis. They have grown up understanding social networking and its power to make things happen. Because Seedplay supports a real project for a real cause using real donations, the students aren’t playing or simulating, they are doing! We are all looking forward to next year with more students involved.”

Schools that license Seedplay (www.seedplay.com, currently in beta format) receive full service, in-person and online professional development for administrators and faculty, and a 24/7 help desk. Seedplay offers a supplemental online ‘writing across curricula’ program to help students develop action plans, budgets, and identify the community or other organization their project will benefit. Once a project is submitted to their faculty sponsor for final approval, the projects are published to the project gallery on Seedplay.com and can be shared and discovered by the public.

Anyone interested in funding the project logs in and offers a donation in any denomination as low as $0.01 to the project of their choice, using a credit card or PayPal account. Others will simply become ‘Followers’ of the project and can offer moral support, and securely answer questions from the project’s founding team.  All communications are public and security protocols protect the identity of the children, while enabling them to invite their support network to their next project. Donors come from around the globe. The projects eventually travel full-circle when the students receive feedback from the stakeholders. This is gathered through surveys regarding the value generated from their projects at various steps along the way, right through to project completion.

Schools license Seedplay based on enrollment, with pricing available on a school or district basis. Seedplay is effective across the curriculum, but is especially well suited to drop-out prevention and community service programs. Call 888-778-7737 for more information on Seedplay pricing. 

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About CORE K12 –

Core K12 Education (CORE K12) is a division of CORE ECS, based in the United States. CORE K12 delivers highly customized solutions to meet the specific needs of State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs/LEAs) and school districts. Our unique and innovative products and services include state-of-the-art, technology-based formative assessment systems, innovative intervention curricula, engaging Web-based training, highly effective professional development seminars, and customized content and assessment development. All our programs and services deliver valuable, useful tools for educators from the classroom level through district and/or state level administrators.

We currently work with more than 2.5 million students in schools, districts, and states across the country, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Palm Beach County Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, the Texas Education Agency, and the Virginia Department of Education. CORE K12 press contact is Peggy Fernau at 405-258-7328 or Peggy@Lanierthinking.com.

 

About Harlan Gaston –

Harlan Gaston passed by drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes and gang members to attend high school behind the Nickerson Gardens housing projects each day. Despite his unfavorable circumstances, Harlan overcame the streets of Watts to attend Stanford University at the age of 16, and at age 20 became Bertelsmann’s youngest and first American Reinhard Mohn Fellow. Trained by the senior executives of Bertelsmann Media divisions worldwide, Harlan (now 28) created Seedplay to help kids develop their own ideas into projects and eventually companies, and to foster entrepreneurship among those who have a dream and the fortitude to see it become a reality.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.