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July 1, 2013

We are pleased to announce the publication of brand new content on the Y4Y portal, just in time for Independence Day!

The new content is all about Civic Learning and Engagement (CLE), which is an integral part of the Obama Administration’s education agenda. The administration’s goal, stated in their Road Map for civic learning, is to reinvigorate civic learning and engagement for students, families, and community members - as well as for 21st Century Community Learning Center program staff.

As you explore Civic Learning and Engagement on Y4Y you’ll find...

> new information to help you incorporate CLE into projects designed to help youth become active participants in democratic society.

> new strategies for implementing CLE into your new and existing projects,

> new customizable tools, checklists, worksheets, project examples, and project planners to help you develop exciting new CLE projects for your youth, and

> new trainings-to-go and training starters to help you develop dynamic CLE professional development opportunities for your staff.

Celebrate one of the great strengths of our nation by diving into the new Civic Learning and Engagement content on the Y4Y portal today. Get started in the CLE Introduction then explore the rest of the materials which you'll find incorporated into the Project-Based Learning module, because when it comes to hands-on learning one of the best examples is civic engagement!

Look for more information on the new CLE content in Blog articles as well as upcoming Webinars and E-Blast Newsletters.

To subscribe to the Y4Y E-Blast Newsletter, simply register on the Y4Y portal at http://y4y.ed.gov/join. Like everything on Y4Y -- it’s free!  



March 8, 2013

The Y4Y web portal is now sporting a brand new design that is fully compatible with your mobile devices, making it easier to use and more accessible than ever.

The new design was launched on February 20 during the Beyond School Hours XVI conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Conference attendees were treated to a keynote address giving them a tour of the changes, after which they had the opportunity to stop by a Digital Lounge where they could test drive the portal and ask questions of some Y4Y experts on hand.

Now that the new design is launched, everyone has the opportunity to explore the new Y4Y and get reacquainted with everything it has to offer. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you as you explore the portal on your own.



February 22, 2013

Some big news was revealed at BSH XVI in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 21 – a new design for the Y4Y web portal!

We’ve been collecting lots of feedback over the past couple of years from users like you all over the country. Dr. Lyles and the Department of Education heard you when you said you needed more from the Y4Y portal. The new Y4Y is designed specifically to address those needs.

You said you needed easier access to the portal from your tablets and smart phones. The portal has always been accessible from mobile web devices, but now it uses responsive web design standards to take advantage of mobile technology like never before.

Sound confusing? It’s not! See for yourself and access the portal from a smart phone or tablet today. The site now detects smaller screens and rearranges itself into a layout that’s easier to use than ever before.

You said you needed access to videos from places that don’t always have access to YouTube. From now on all videos will be hosted directly from the portal, making them available virtually everywhere.

You said you needed improved navigation to access everything quicker and more easily. The portal is now divided into four main sections: Learn, Teach, Tools, and Network.

“Learn” contains Introductions (formerly called “Courses”), Implementation Strategies and tips for Coaching your Staff (both formerly found in the Coaching Modules) for each of the five content areas.

“Teach” contains training materials that you can use as is or customize to your particular needs (all formerly found in the Design Studio).

“Tools” is where you’ll find a list of every resource on the portal, and “Network” is where you can participate in online discussions and post pictures and success stories from your program (features formerly found in The Exchange).

It’s all your favorite Y4Y features and content in a brand new layout that we hope you’ll find easier to use and more accessible than ever!



January 16, 2013

The Y4Y Team will be travelling to the Beyond School Hours XVI conference in Jacksonville, FL, from February 20-23, and have we got some great surprises in store for you! If you didn’t get a chance to visit us in San Francisco last February or in New Orleans last August, we hope to see you at BSH next month.

Once again we’ll be hosting our all-day Digital Lounge on Thursday and Friday, giving you a chance to test drive the Y4Y portal while we’re right there to answer your questions and give you one-on-one assistance. You can explore the site on your own, try some of our fun and interesting challenges that incorporate the Y4Y materials, or even get feedback on some of the projects you’ve been developing with the help of Y4Y resources.

But wait there’s more! We can’t go into the details right now because we’re sworn to absolute secrecy, but we can tell you that we’re going to have a big announcement to share with everyone during the keynote address on Thursday.

So if you love Y4Y, hold onto your hats! Because you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!



November 30, 2012

Speaking of technology, one of the biggest tech trends in recent years has been the proliferation of mobile computing devices. The number and variety of smartphones, tablets and other devices and the ways people use them to access the Internet is practically exploding. 

At Y4Y we’ve seen some surprising growth in mobile users recently. Mobile usage of the portal doubled from June to July last summer, and then doubled again from September to October. While Y4Y has always been accessible on any web enabled device, we saw an opportunity to optimize the user experience on both mobile devices as well as on laptops and desktops. 

Adapting to changes in the field and keeping current with our users’ needs is a top priority at Y4Y. That’s why we’re happy to announce the unveiling of a brand new design at Y4Y in early 2013. 

Our primary goal is to incorporate state of the art responsive web design standards into Y4Y so the site looks its best no matter what type of device you use to access it. We also took this opportunity to optimize the navigation and make all the wonderful resources on Y4Y even easier for you to find and use. Feedback from a large number of users, from our focus group members, and from the experts on our Technical Working Group informed our process and directed our efforts every step of the way. 

So keep your eye on Y4Y, because just after the New Year it’s going to have a whole new look – and it’s going to knock your socks off!