Idit Harel Caperton : biography
Idit Harel Caperton, Ph.D. (born September 18, 1958) is an educational psychologist and epistemologist specializing in the study of the impact of computer-based new media technology on the social and academic development of children. Her research, along with that of Seymour Papert, has contributed to the development of constructionist learning theory, a hands-on approach to the use of technology as a tool in juvenile education and acculturation.
She is the founder and CEO of MaMaMedia Inc., the executive director of the MaMaMedia Consulting Group (MCG), and founder and president of the World Wide Workshop Foundation. Additionally, Caperton is an advisor for several non-profit educational initiatives and is a regular featured speaker at universities and educational conferences worldwide.
The World Wide Workshop Foundation
Idit Harel Caperton is also founder and president of the World Wide Workshop Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that develops applications for learning with technology that combine game mechanics and social networking to empower youth to be inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. The foundation's programs transform education by connecting youth to learning, community engagement and economic development through game production.
The foundation is committed to improving quality education opportunities for all youth in the USA and the world through Broadband Learning. They partner with corporations, school systems, universities, and research centers to enrich existing formal and non-formal education systems with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities that cultivate students' productivity, personal learning, leadership, communal success, and a deeper understanding of the world. World Wide Workshop Mission Statement (2013).
Globaloria is a social learning network where students develop digital literacies, STEM and Computing knowledge, and global citizenship through game design. It was established by the World Wide Workshop Foundation in 2006 to create technology-based educational opportunities through a virtual learning network for students in developing nations and other technologically underserved communities. With a network of educational, web 2.0 platforms, students develop 21st century skills and digital literacy, master social media technology tools, and gain a deeper understanding of curricular areas, such as science, mathematics and health. Its activities help students sharpen their communication and critical-thinking skills for leadership online and offline, bringing them closer to the participatory and collaborative nature of work in the 21st century.West Virginia Department of Education (2008).
Caperton was born Idit Harel in Tel Aviv, Israel. She often compares the early years of Israel to a business startup. Israel was a 10-year-old democracy when she was born, and in the process of building socio-political systems that combined leftist philosophies of cooperation and mutual reliance with free enterprise entrepreneurship. While a youth in the Levant, she experienced the Six Days War, the Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 Lebanon War. These events, along with other regional conflicts, such as the Gulf War, the First Intifada, and the Al-Aqsa Intifada, have led Caperton to actively support efforts to foster, build, and sustain peace in the Middle East and throughout the world.
In 2003, she married her second husband, Gaston Caperton, former Governor of West Virginia (1989–1997) and past President of the College Board, the organization responsible for the Advanced Placement (AP) programs and SAT examinations. They together have five children and five grandchildren.
In 1995, Harel Caperton moved to New York City, where she founded MaMaMedia.com (a playful variation of the Italian-American exclamation Mama Mia! used to express Mother of all Media), a pioneering Internet dot-com that focuses on the fostering of digital literacy and creative learning skills for children and their parents. Basing itself on the educational principles of constructionism, the site's goal is to allow children a vast selection of "playful learning" activities and projects. MaMaMedia.com is the first technological adaptation using the Internet for some of the concepts originally espoused by educational theorists such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and Seymour Papert. In applying these theories, the site seeks to allow children worldwide the opportunity to grow creatively at their own pace from a young age. For example, children using the site can create, save, and share their own animations, cartoons, stories, digital art and games with dynamic tools provided on the website, thereby creating a global exercise in experiential education.
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