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Last week at LSC's 15th TIG conference, I attended some really great breakaway sessions about how different groups are using technology to better assist their clients. As somewhat of a gamer myself, I was very excited to learn about orgs that are developing or interested in developing games to assist self-represented litigants.
"Serious Gaming as A Learning Tool" explored the evolution and application of game design for serious purposes. There is a lot of evidence that games are engaging and effective teaching tools, but in legal services we are just beginning to explore this area. The presentation included visual examples of successful efforts using games to teach real-life skills, both in and out of legal services.
Susan Garcia Nofi, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc.
Dan Jackson, Executive Director, NuLawLab - Northeastern University School of Law
Casper Harteveld, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University
Connecticut Law Help (CTLawHelp) Identified a need to develop solutions for self represented litigants (SRL) after finding that a large number of SRL's experience stress related issues including depression and weight loss. Moreover, about 80% of litigants appear in court without lawyers to argue very serious cases.
New Haven Legal Assistance partnered with NuLawLab to create a game which could better prepare SRL's for their day in court. The game which is currently under development will put litigants before a virtual judge to help demystify the courtroom and diminish anxiety for those who cannot afford legal representation.
Dr. Harteveld, an assistant professor of game design at Northeastern University, is also working closely with New Haven Legal assistance and NuLawLabs to develop the game. Harteveld offered a brief history of games emphasizing that power of learning inherent in games. He referenced Homo Ludens or "Playing Man" a book which discusses the importance of play to the development of culture and society.
Military games date back to ancient Egypt. Senet, a board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt dates to around 3100 BCE!
More Educational Games:
Health: Remission 2
Science & Education: Fold it
Legal Aid Organizations are beginning to utilize games and their unique power to teach. There were several great ideas for innovative games being thrown around at the TIG conference, and I'm excited to see what people come up with this year!
Please use the comments section to share your game ideas and suggestions. If you are interested in developing a game, I suggest using the LSTech listserv to find experts and potential partners. In the coming weeks, I hope to get permission to post Dr. Harteveld's game design worksheets which were used in the Collaborative Game Design Workshop. The worksheets are a great tool which help walk you through the game development process.
Gabe Teninbaum, Professor of Legal Writing at Suffolk University Law School, will be teaching Lawyering in an Age of Smart Macines at Suffolk University this spring. The course will focus on teaching students to use document automation tools. As a course requirement, each student will complete a project using A2J Author and Hot Docs to automate a legal form or document and create a guided interview along with it. The best projects will be those that can actually be used to help real clients.
If your organization has identified a need to automate any specific legal documents or forms, and you'd be willing to review/give feedback to a student that claims the project, contact Gabe Teninbaum. He will be creating a spreadshee of possible projects for students to claim that will help the legal services community. Once a student claims the project, he/she will be put in touch with you so they can get guidance in order to meet your organization's needs.
Information graphics or Infographics are graphic representations of data or knowledge, and they are used for a variety of purposes due to their unique ability to present information in an easily understandable and aesthetically pleasing way. Infographics incorporate data and design to tell a story or present complex information. The infographic format simplifies information by creating a visualization that our brains are more likely to understand and remember. They are also more readily shared on social media sites and can be a great way for legal aid organizations to promote their work. Here are some ways legal aid orgs are using infographics:
Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) created this powerful infographic which demonstrates a correlation between national events and the impact on their organization. Although this could easily be presented as data in a chart, the infographic is more likely to be read and shared with other prospective donors.
ILAO created this infographic in house using Photoshop & Illustrator.
The Empire Justice created a couple of infographics this fall to help more easily explain complex issues. The infographic below was used in their education efforts with state policymakers to more easily explain the steps of a Social Security Appeal. They also developed an infographic for their C.A.S.H (Creating Assets, Savings & Hope) Program, which provide free tax preparation and financial literacy for low-income working families.
The Shriver has used infograhics for various purposes including fundraising, legislative advocacy, and promoting reports. The infographic below was used to promote The Shriver Center's 2012 Poverty Scorecard which rated state representatives on their efforts to end poverty. The Shriver Center is also running a year-end fundraising campaign on Facebook which includes a series of infographics. Here is another example of an infographic The Shriver Center used for legislative advocacy work.
The Shriver Center uses piktochart.com to create their infographics. They've also used InDesign & Photoshop. . Piktochart has a robust free option which comes with a lot of icons and fully customizable templates. The free version can go a long way, but piktochart.com has a premium version which nonprofits can apply for at $39/year.
The NWCLC used this infographic in a newsletter which was handed out to guests at their "friendraiser." The event and the infographic were designed to help raise awareness, celebrate accomplishments, and get the attention of potential donors.
The New York Legal Assistance Group used this infographic to help raise awareness about their work and reach potential donors. The infographic gives a quick visualization of what "Your $200 gift can become."
These are just a handful of ways legal aid organizations are taking advantage of the infographic's unique ability to present information. Please use the comments section to share helpful resources and tell us about how your org is using infographics.
The Legal Services National Technology Project (NTAP) is housed at the Northwest Justice Project in Seattle and serves a nationwide audience of legal aid organizations. NTAP helps nonprofit legal aid programs improve client services through the effective and innovative use of technology. To do this, we provide technology trainings, maintain information, create online tools, and host community forums such as the LStech email list and a YouTube channel.
NTAP is responsible for providing the community with at least 10 webinars in 2015. NTAP is requesting proposals from interested vendors to host one or more structured online interactive web based trainings or webinars. These Webinars should cover topics, both cutting edge and in use currently, that will enhance the legal services community’s use of technology. The webinars should be 60 to 90 minutes in length with at least 15% of the time left for open questions and answers from the attendees.
Webinars can be presented using NTAP’s Join.me account or other on-line conferencing software. These webinars are free to the attendees.
NTAP is open to proposals that incorporate new ideas and technologies. Recordings of past webinar series can be found at our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/NTAPvideos Do not let the past limit the proposals though.
Legal Aid professionals including: lawyers, paralegals, executive directors, support staff and technology staff
1) Screencast: The online training must be recorded by the vendor for long term archival and use by the community. It must be done in a format that is easily transferable to YouTube or other publicly available video sharing sites.
2) Materials: Vendor is responsible for collecting course materials and slides from all speakers and providing them to NTAP to be posted online 1 week before the Webinar.
3) Survey: After each training, vendor will work with NTAP on a short survey to judge the communities reaction to the webinar and gather feedback on how to improve future trainings. (NTPA will conduct the survey using survey Monkey)
4) Licensing: All training content must be eligible for an open license, like a Creative Commons By Licenses, that allows the community to reuse and build upon the resources created from this project
5) Final Reporting: Each vendor must submit a short report, less than 5 pages, on how the trainings performed. NTAP will conduct surveys after each training and share the results with vendors.
Proposal that do not include all required deliverables will be considered on a case by case basis. NTAP is open to new ideas.
Topics may include:
- Online Intake
- Expert Systems
- Disaster preparedness and Backups
- Free Tech/legal Resources
- Tech Tips
- Github & online sharing
- Video production & Sharelaw Video
- Business Analytics for Legal Services
- Usability and Accessibility
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP) & Technology
- Translation Tools
- Case Management Systems
- Mobile Apps for Legal Services
- Data Visualization
- Basic Tech trainings in core technologies (office, google, ect)
- RSS for advocates
- Business Process analysis
- Social Media use in Legal Services
- Privacy & Security
We are looking for new applicable topics that will aid legal services offices, improve their technology infrastructure, as well as client services. Feel free to propose topics beyond this list.
Required Proposal Format
The proposal must contain a (1) a cost section (2) a technical section and (3) an experience section (4) references
Vendor must provide a budget with cost possession. NTAP has a limited budget and must host at least 10 trainings this year.
Please specify the number of trainings you are interesting in developing and presenting. All webinars must be presented during 2015.
Request for References
Vendor must include contact information for at least two references for similar work
January 20th, 2015
Submit Proposal To:
Via Email to BrianR@NWJustice.org
National Technology Assistance Project Coordinator
For Additional Information or Clarification, Contact:
National Technology Assistance Project Coordinator
Basis for Award of Contract
Cost, feature offered, and past experience.
January 26th, 2015
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