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All In on Games! Bridging the Digital Divide Through Play with Dennis Morgan

In this online Columbia Bundles Community Scholars Lecture, Dennis Morgan, creator of Harlem CoLab, argues that play is central for supporting young learners but also for adult learners as it relates to mastering technological tools. Harlem CoLab's goal is to connect Harlem-based school-age and adult learners with technology through game design in order to become tech-fluent and career-ready. These skills are necessary for obtaining meaningful employment and participating in society.

Morgan will outline the genesis and history of the Harlem CoLab, highlighting successes in the past that inform current and future work and partnerships to bridge the digital divide and bring play back to the forefront for learning. By learning about design methodologies and practicing designing and problem-solving, learners build and create for themselves meaningful projects that they can take from the classroom to the workplace.

About the speaker:

Dennis Morgan is deeply engaged in the integration of technology, education, and equity. As the world emerges into what will be “normal”, he has used this opportunity to listen to and speak with school communities and their leadership, collaboratively building a thoughtful technology practice in education. He has been working with corporations that are going through digital-transformation discussing their pain points and struggles, and challenging the biased constructs that prohibit employing technology experts from underserved communities. His and Harlem CoLab’s work focuses on inclusivity, opportunity, access, and creating a rich tradition and culture in innovative technologies for underserved communities -- especially as it relates to Harlem, which drives his ambitions and focus.

Morgan has served as the Manhattan Borough President Appointee for Community School District 3 in Manhattan. He has worked to chart a path toward academic and racial equity in education with District 3 school leadership on the Community Education Council for District 3 where he recently served as First Vice President. He was also co-chairs the council’s Equity & Excellence Committee.

Morgan is currently leading two initiatives at the intersection of education and technology. Through one, he is working with the DOE, Harlem school leadership, students, and families on an Imagine NYC project that seeks to innovate and redefine what public schools can provide to their students and community. The other is a program called Successful STEPS in the South Bronx where, through a partnership with Abraham House and Lincoln Hall Boys Haven, he is directing the technology component of the program to deliver software management training and digital fluency.

 

The Columbia University A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Program, administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the School of Professional Studies, enables independent scholars to pursue their lifelong learning aspirations, whether it be completing an independent project or attaining skills in a particular area. The program helps to foster and deepen ties between the University and the many independent members of the cultural and intellectual community surrounding it. The program was named in honor of longtime University Trustee A’Lelia Bundles in 2020.

 

For event-related questions, please contact George Calderaro, gc2212 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

For additional information about program offerings at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 212-854-9666 or inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu

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