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Each month for the DML Central we at Global Kids annotate a list of our favorite finds from the past month in regards to digital media and learning. Below is our latest from October.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at MS 391 - Building with Aris 

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Global Kids Staff Member Juan Rubio and students from MS 391 plotting the game storyline


This week students worked at further developing the storyline for as yet untitled game they have been working on. After working with author Nina Malkin last week they were able to figure out a general story arc and are now focusing on the details of figuring out how to use the game mechanics to showcase it. After walking through the flowchart of the game, the students were finally able to have a hands on experience with the Aris alpha editor. Each one learned how to create an object and place it on the map, debating what would be best to represent aspects of the game. It was great to see them take ownership of the technology and assisting one another without prompting, showcasing the understanding that collaboration is a key element in being able to create the best game possible.

Global Kids Youth Travel to Kenya and Create Social Media Projects 

IMG_4771.JPG Ten Global Kids Leaders from Brooklyn's High School for Global Citizenship traveled to Kenya for four weeks this summer to conduct collaborative projects with Kenyan youth using social media. The youth learned about Kenyan culture, worked with young Kenyan leaders to develop online social justice campaigns in their communities, and represented the U.S. Department of State as 2011 American Youth Leadership Program participants. Conducted in partnership with the National Center for Global Engagement's Bardoli Scholars Program and One World Now.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at Seward Park Library - Day 2 

Students at the Seward Park library began the process of learning game mechanics by testing several types of card and board games. Using Story Cubes and Once Upon A Time, students were able to discuss the importance of a coherent story and more importantly, working collaboratively towards a narrative. It was emphasized that they should begin seeing themselves as working as a team and to allow their ideas to develop and grow with the help of the other students. We then followed up with a game of Clue and discussed the benefits and disadvantages of complex gaming. The prior games depended on the players to create the narrative while Clue had one already built in. Students saw how a storyline works within gameplay and how can clues be effectively used to solve a mystery. We're excited to see how these skills will be applied to the ARIS based mystery game the students will create.

Playing 4 Keeps - Third Session  

This week in our third meeting of the Playing 4 Keeps program, Global Kids youth leaders spent time on Gamestar Mechanic completing the quest games. Several participants who have logged on from home have advanced and even started designing some of their own games! Afterwards, we focused on two game design concepts: games vs. play and emergence.

I chose a volunteer to create a simple game on Gamestar and as a group, we discussed the difference between “games” and “play”. We concluded that “play” is simply about doing something entertaining and fun, but a “game” has elements like goals, obstacles, and rules. However, just because a game has all of those elements does not make it a fun game.

We then discussed the concept of “emergence”, which is that complex systems develop out of a smaller set of simpler interactions. Youth brought up examples of games like Pac-Man, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Tetris, and chess to talk about emergence. They mentioned that those games all have simple rules or actions, but when they interact with each other, they become difficult, complex, and interesting games that are also incredibly addictive.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at Seward Park Library - Day 1 

pickle-guys-exterior.jpgIt was an energetic start to the NYC Haunts program at the Seward Park branch of the New York Public Library. A group of 8th grade students from the area came in to learn about the basics of the program and how it has progressed since its premier this past spring. Students were excited to learn they were a part of a growing serialized project and were already excitedly coming up with suggestions and locations to incorporate before even being introduced to the technology. We watched the video created by the New York Public Library of the students from MS 391 testing out their creation which gave the students a bit more context as to how a scavenger hunt using mobile devices would work.

Playing For Keeps Program - 2nd Session Update 

Yesterday we held our second meeting of the Playing For Keeps program, in which Global Kids youth leaders from around the city are learning about serious game design & Gamestar Mechanic and will collaborate with E-Line media (the folks who run Gamestar Mechanic) to create social issue game competitions.

This week - held on election day - the youth went into Gamestar for the first time, with the mission to complete the first "chapter" within the game. The teacher tools for tracking students were excellent, as we were able to project on the board youth's progress as an impromptu leader board. (I can also see now, less than 24 hours later, than three of the students kept playing last night). Many of the youth leaders looked as equally shocked as surprised when we said they were allow to continue playing Gamestar at home, between our sessions.

NYC Haunts - visit to the Bronx Library Center and Poe's Cottage 

Global Kids youth leaders from MS 391 who are creating the second installment of NYC Haunts (a geo-locative game using the platform ARIS), went on a trip to the Bronx Library Center and Edgar Allan Poe's cottage in the Bronx this past Tuesday. At the library, they started mapping the game using flowcharts with plot points from research they conducted about Edgar Allan Poe and his time living in the Bronx. Youth leaders were interested in answering questions about Poe such as if he had any children or if he earned a living from writing only.

After the brainstorming session, they went to Poe's park to see the cottage and take pictures of the place that they will later use in the game.

Presenting storyboard for game

Global Kids contributes to new video about badges for lifelong learning 

Due to our work on badging systems, Global Kids was thrilled to have been invited by the MacArthur Foundation to participate in an important new video talking about the potential of badging systems for lifelong learning.

You can learn more about the video here or just watch it below. Global Kids' Online Leadership director, Barry Joseph, talks about the power of badges to develop language amongst youth around their new skills and knowledge, to offer scaffolded learning opportunities, and to allow learners to take pride in public recognition of their work.

P4K Internship Program Begins 

6305693181_0bb5a33716_m.jpg On Tuesday, Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program launched this year’s “Playing 4 Keeps” internship program. 25 high school students were selected from a pool of applicants and will meet once a week on Tuesdays at Global Kids’ office for the entire school year. P4K Interns will play games, design social impact games using Gamestar Mechanic, meet professionals in the game design field, act as judges in a national competition, and develop leadership skills.

Global Kids Youth Leaders met GK staffers, Daria and Barry, as well as staff members Scott and Michael from our partner E-Line Media. E-Line Media is an educational game publishing company that developed Gamestar Mechanic.

In this first session, youth developed their first game using found objects to address social issues. For example, one group used a toy bear, a marble, and two tennis balls to create a game called “Feed the Bear” about animal cruelty and wildlife preservation. Another group created a game about pollution and a third group created a game to address famine. Afterwards, youth created their accounts in Gamestar Mechanic.