Digital Expressions

The Global Kids Digital Expressions program, originally called Media Masters, works with young people to foster the acquisition of digital media production and analytic skills through youth engagement in participatory media or "Web 2.0" tools. Participants used web tools to map, remix, blog, create multimedia presentations and slideshows, do graphic design, create data visualizations and more in order to gain critical social skills and cultural competencies that will be critical to their participation in civic life. In its first iteration, Media Masters, the program was a partnership with MIT's Project New Media Literacies in which Global Kids brought its global issue oriented and interactive educational approach to MIT's new media literacy Learning Library, running the program within the Prospect Heights Campus in Brooklyn, NY. The program was later expanded to serve youth in libraries around New York City in a partnership with the New York Public Library.

One Billion Rising Youth Task Force 


Nearly 60 youth from all over New York City gathered on November 30th at the Global Kids offices to learn about One Billion Rising, the global campaign to bring an end to violence against women led by V-Day. Over 170 countries are planning events on February 14th, 2013 to dance, strike, and rise as a call to action. Believing in our mission to empower young people to be leaders in their communities, Global Kids made a call for any young people who were interested in leading the New York City youth effort for the campaign. 



The session covered what the campaign is and why is it important. Students reflected on some of the facts that were shared on the One Billion Rising site and came up with three areas of focus: schools, public spaces, and social media. They broke into groups and brainstormed some actions they could take within each area. As a final task they were interested in doing some early social media work by creating gifs that explained why they are rising and supporting the campaign. 


View photos from the session on our flickr album and check out some examples of the gifs the students created by clicking read more! 


MS 391 - Bullying, Gaming and Coding 

Global Kids Leaders at MS 391 have been working hard learning elements of games, basics of coding HTML and discussing social issues. 


In our Game Design program students play tested SimSweatshop, a game that puts players in the shoes of factory workers attempting to make sneakers. As time accumulated they saw how their energy levels would quickly deplete, the small amount of money they accumulated, and how their overall quality of life was affected. During our debrief students shared facts about child labor and related it back to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They also discussed the mechanics of the game and whether it got the message across to the players. We continued our talk of games using Gamestar Mechanic's basic element cards. Youth played a matching game to learn game design vocabulary. 


Coby, Julio and Anthony matching photos to terms. 


Middle Schoolers Learning Gaming and Web Design 

In our third year at the Angelo Patri Middle School MS 391 in the Bronx, we have introduced two new programs into the curriculum.


On Mondays we began the Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps program in which students are learning the fundementals of game design and will eventually develop a serious game on a global issue. Our first session had students exploring what makes iconic characters by drawing and presenting some of their own favorites. 


GK Leaders Chris and Lexington drawing a character from World of Warcraft.


GK Leaders Collins, Jose and Coby present their drawing from Avatar. 


GK Leaders Jose and JD present their characters from Super Mario. 


GK and NYPL jointly published on recent Edge Project collaboration 


Global Kids and the New York Public Library just published an excerpt from our upcoming Worked Example on the Edge Project completed last spring: Digital Expression.

The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education. Check out our pieces there on:

How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From “Hanging Out” to “Messing Around”

Or click Download file">here to download it. (If you would like to read the completed Worked Example, still in development, please contact us and let us know.)

Below is the abstract we wrote for the entire Worked Example:

Sunukaddu - a voice for youth in Senegal 

This summer we were contacted by Laurel Felt, a Doctoral student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism who was working on a educational project in Senegal. We were happy to share some of our wisdom and help out her project by sharing resources and thoughts on our Digital Expressions Digital Transcript. Below is a guest post by Laurel detailing the results of this.

Meeting of the Minds: Youth, Social Media and Education 

What is really going on with youth and social media? Are there benefits—educational and life-long—to young people's use of social media? Find out in this discussion featuring danah boyd, social media researcher and guru, and a panel of experts, as they discuss how social media, technology, and education interact and enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.

Reactor panel:

  • Barry Joseph, Director Online Leadership Program, Global Kids
  • Jessica Hochman, Assistant Professor, LMS, Coordinator, Pratt School of Library and Information Science
  • Linda W. Braun, Educational Technology Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Program Facilitator: Jack Martin, Assistant Director of Public Programs / Lifelong Learning, The New York Public Library

Talking about Alternative Assessment 


Alternative assessment is the focus of Barry Joseph's article in the Spring 2010 edition of the HaYidion: The Ravsak Journal. In this article, Barry discusses how we here at Global Kids view and work with alternative assessment models and the importance of considering these new models.

Check out Barry's article here.

Rik on Youth Learning Networks at the 2010 WebWise Conference 

Rik at webwise The organizers of the excellent Webwise conference that I attended last month in Denver have recently posted to the web videos from the event.  

While there, I spoke on a panel on "Creating Connections and Promoting Networks" focused on the challenges and opportunities of using new media to transform user experience and provide a network of learning opportunities for young people.

I was joined on the panel by Elizabeth Babcock of the Field Museum,
Ingrid Erickson of SSRC and
Kylie Peppler of Indiana University.

[staff] Using Alternative Assessment Models to Empower Youth-directed Learning 

Tashawna is a high school senior in Brooklyn, NY. In the morning she leaves home for school listening to her MP3s, texting her friends about meeting up after school at Global Kids, where she participates in a theater program, or FIERCE, the community center for LGBT youth. On the weekend she'll go to church and, on any given day, visit MySpace and Facebook as often as she can. While she misses television and movies, she says she just can't find the time.

This describes what we can call Tashawna's distributed learning network, the most important places in her life where learning occurs. Not just at home, school and church but also through digital media, like MP3s, SMS and social networks, and at youth-serving institutions, like Global Kids and FIERCE. Some are places that require her presence, like school, while others are opt-in, like MySpace. But the learning she gathers across the nodes in her network are preparing her to succeed in the classrooms, workplaces, and civic arenas of the 21st Century.