Empow Studios Talent Box

Our teaching approach where kids level Up in Art & Design, Building, and Coding

We have always been focused on getting girls and boys across a wide range of interests and ages excited about the creative power of technology. As educators, we’re also constantly trying to improve our practices and tools. This year, we’re introducing a new system that will support both of these goals: Talent Box.

Starting in Summer 2017, students at local schools, libraries, community centers, and camps will use Talent Box to access their learning resources and tools, organize their virtual workspace, get constructive feedback on their projects, and map out their progress. It is here that students will also see their achievement badges as they gain and apply new skills in video game design, animation, coding, robotics, Minecraft, and other technologies that we teach. We call this process “Leveling Up.” When they go home, they can access their portfolios, download the projects they’ve been working on, and share their creations and badges with family and friends.

Kids choose projects that level-up in three domains: Art & Design, Building, and Coding.

Access

You and the kids can access their profiles by going to student.empow.me and typing in the unique 7-digit code assigned to each child. If the code is misplaced – no problem, just email us at info@empow.me and we will send it to you.

Portfolio

Kids can access their projects, badges, and program history with Portfolio in Talent Box. All of the kids’ projects from an Empow program are accessible for download and sharing from home. It doesn’t allow uploads outside of an Empow program.

Learning Value

Talent Box is a system that supports individual and group learning, teaching, administration, and communication. It is a way to help teachers individualize their work with the campers and make face-to-face time with the children more effective.

Our 3 Domains

Art & Design

Building

Coding

Level up and earn badges

Each child’s accomplishments are acknowledged in a way that is motivating, lasting, and flexible through the use of badges. When entering an Empow program, the kids will get an overview of how badges are awarded. We think they will enjoy explaining this system to you when they come home from the program. Badges awarded when kids complete tracks in specific technologies, and are also awarded for levelling-up in cross-disciplines, including secret unlockable badges! Our badges are compliant with the Mozilla OpenBadges standard, which means that the kids can take their virtual badges to any digital system that supports it, for as long as they want. For more information, see openbadges.org.

Beginner

Because everyone has to start somewhere!

Huge Fan

A fan is an enthusiast, supporter or maybe even a fanatic about something. What are you excited about? You’ve learned a bit about your track and are showing great promise. Keep going!

The Big Cheese

The big cheese is someone knowledgeable or important in a track. People are probably starting to notice that you're getting good at this.

Braniac

Brainiacs are super intelligent creators and inventors who are ready to become the innovators of tomorrow.

Specialist

Being highly skilled in this track, you possess the detailed knowledge that every team needs.

Scholar

It has taken great diligence to get here. Well done! You’ve earned the right to be proud, but don’t forget: others may need your help. Get ready to be a mentor and share your knowledge. This is not an end, but a beginning.

Techie

Beginners and Fans think what you do is magic. With a team of techies, anything is possible.

Hot Shot

It's clear that you are exceptionally able and formidable in this track.

Whiz

It is clear that you are not just intelligent; but you are particularly clever when you conquer your quests! Brainiac

What we teach

Video Game Design

Robotics

Animation

3D Modeling & Printing

Minecraft

Audio Production

Coding

Video Production

Level up with Minecraft

When it comes to discovery and creativity within Minecraft, the options are truly limitless. Similar to LEGO, Minecraft has pieces, or “blocks,” to design and build with. Minecraft also has electrical elements to make circuitry and lay wire using an element called Redstone. And just like LEGO EV3 software uses code to run robotics, Minecraft has command blocks and modding capabilities where kids can learn coding fundamentals. The empowerment to design, build, and code can be achieved all within the Minecraft platform. Although Minecraft is a game, it can also be thought of as a sandbox. We stress this vs. strictly ‘playing’ the game. We feel Minecraft is an effective tool because it engages children to learn because of their love for Minecraft.

Using Talent Box, kids can level up in Art & Design, Building, and Coding, all within Minecraft. Students can choose to work on their own projects or collaborate with a friend.

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