01/07/2013 04:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

MyBlockNYC Video Projects Take Education To The Streets Of New York City

In one of the latest efforts that takes education beyond testing and the classroom, students in New York City are hitting the streets for some visual and cultural learning experiences.

As part of an assignment through the MyBlockNYC Education Foundation, students are equipped with video cameras to create short documentary films about their daily lives and surrounding community to help students develop video literacy, cultivate artistic expression and dive deeper into the issues that most directly affect them in the digital age.

The foundation was created by a group of filmmakers seeking to increase student exposure to the trade, and participating schools receive curricular supplements and equipment from the program for free. As a result, students have created and submitted numerous videos that explore topics ranging from the challenges of public transportation to the impact of local murders.

"For many participating schools, the MyBlockNYC Education Foundation is the only source of arts enrichment or video literacy in their curriculum," MyBlockNYC Education Foundation Coordinator Brian Paccione said in a statement. "Our program has become integral to the fabric of many participating schools, providing their students with a creative assignment that goes beyond the walls of their classrooms."

Above and below, see two student videos created as part of the project. Above, "My Neighborhood Is Not Safe" and below, "Life In The Playground." Visit the MyBlockNYC website for more student videos.

For teachers and schools looking to bring the MyBlockNYC Education program to their schools, please send an e-mail to

Look for a new version of the MyBlockNYC online mapping tool in March 2013. New features and options will allow users to interact with their city in exciting ways. Stay tuned!