Check out the great resources the GK Online Leadership Program contributed to the Digital Media and Learning central blog this month!

At the top of the must-read list this month is "How the Internet Gets Inside Us," an article by New Yorker writer Adam Gopnick who offers an insightful overview of the range of opinions found in recent books regarding the shifting relationship between humans and technology.

He categorizes books about the Internet into the Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers, and the Ever-Wasers. The Never-Betters believe that we’re on the brink of a new utopia, the Better-Nevers think that we were better off without the Internet, and the Ever-Wasers insist that at any moment in modernity something like this is going on, which is exactly what makes it a modern moment. The terms may be silly, but the points are dead-on, as are the relevant books he assigns to each category that deserve further reading. At Global Kids, we tend to be inspired by the Never-Betters, cautioned by a huge dose of Ever-Wasers, and try to keep on top of the Better-Nevers so we can understand their concerns.

Information R/evolution

Barry Joseph Speaks Live in Second Life: RIP Teen Grid 

As part of the Virtual Worlds - Best Practices in Education conference currently underway in SL, RezEd's own Barry Joseph will be speaking TODAY, March 18th, at 11am SL time (2pm Eastern) at their Central Auditorium.

The topic: A Funeral For Teen Second Life: A Presentation From Beyond the Grave on the Future of Mixed-Age Education in Second Life.

Eulogizing Teen Second Life over the open casket of his Teen Grid Avatar, GlobalKids Bixby will share his deep grief over the loss of Teen Second Life. Meanwhile, a surprise guest will celebrate the end of Linden Lab’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy” for teens and herald the new age of mixed-grid education in Second Life.

The archive of the video, as well as photos, can be seen here. And please feel free to read the text of the full presentation.

NYC Haunts: Global Kids collaborates with The New York Public Library 

Global Kids has formed a partnership with The New York Public Library to start the NYC Haunts program. NYC Haunts is a pilot program in which middle school students from the Bronx will design and create a location based game using mobile technology and the online platform SCVNGR. Sarah, my colleague, and I went to kick off the program this past Wednesday at MS 391 in the Bronx.

Final Session of Passport to Nigeria  


group%20pic_small.jpg Passport to Nigeria, a collaboration between Global Kids and the Museum for African Art, ended last week with a bang. For the past seven weeks, students learned about the history, culture, music, and art of Nigeria through lively discussions, interactive workshops, and guest artists and examined the following themes:

- Art can draw from cultural sources and be a reflection of one’s cultural traditions and values.
- Art and music is a powerful form of expression, especially in times of oppression.
- Art and music can be bridge for understanding other cultures of the world.

Students also learned about different forms of blogging and recorded video blogs after each session. This all culminated in a final celebration that included delicious home-cooked Nigerian food (a lot of it!) and a screening of students’ final videos.

GK youth leaders playtest UNICEF game from Korea 

Today six Global Kids interns had the exciting experience of testing a new game being developed for UNICEF by game designer Peter Lee to teach about providing humanitarian relief.

It was educational, engaging AND complex. Afterwards, the youth provided feedback. We talked about both the game and the content within the game, addressing recent disasters like the current situation in Japan.

Peter, in town from Korea, will be play-testing it with some other youth in NYC and then return to move the game development forward. Peter and his international crew had developed this game during a youth summer camp, using not just the board, but cellphones, QR codes and more.

Everyone at Global Kids looks forward to watching how the game develops and wish the development team luck along the way.

Incarcerated Teens talk to GK about Egypt 

This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to partner again with Global Kids. The partnership was a phone conference with GK and teens at a jail. We talked about the changes taking place in Egypt.

I am a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn which is an all-youth facility at a public library. I do outreach at the local jail and have partnered with GK and the jail in previous projects such as Dream It Do It (or DIDI Initiative) and uCreate which was an Edge Project.

The sixteen and seventeen year old males had been paying attention to what was going on in Egypt for several weeks. They were allowed to watch the television in the library (on a weeknight no less!) and saw Revolution in Cairo, the PBS Frontline story. After viewing, the Librarian there told me they had a lot of questions, particularly about the Muslim Brotherhood and she encouraged them to form their own opinions by reading and watching more resources. She also said they were really focused on the program and didn't just say they wanted to watch it to not have to stay in their cell.

Join the uCreate Working Example AND Worked Example Conversation 

As many of you know, our work on a range of Edge Projects, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, supports civic and cultural institutions to more effectively use digital media for learning (DML). It trains the youth educators to work on the edge or, more to the point, on their edge.

These edges are explored after each project in a new technique called Worked Examples. There are now two sites, still in development, offering examples. One is more focused on the lead up to the final piece and about connecting projects with each other - called Working Examples - while the second is like a final report - Worked Examples. Of course, these Examples are not reports at all - they are more like works in progress to understand a DML intervention from the inside out: pick one programmatic design decision then explore what that decisions can tell us about how digital media can be used for learning. Something like that.

Here is a brief overview of the questions being asked in our first Edge Project Worked Example:

Global Kids at the 2011 Digital Media and Learning Conference 

Global Kids is thrilled to be returning to the second annual Digital Media and Learning Conference, this year in Long Beach, CA. As the conference progresses, you will be able to find photos, videos, and perhaps audio here as well.

This year Global Kids will be represented by Barry Joseph (@barryjoseph) and Daria Ng (@wocildocil):

After a 1.5 day MacArthur grantee meeting, timed to coincide with the conference, the event gets under way this Thursday through Saturday.

Barry and Henry Jenkins facilitated this working group on Youth and Popular Culture at the grantee meeting

On Friday you can find us facilitating and presenting, from 3pm-4:30pm, Session VI, the panel Emerging Platforms in Education. Essentially this is a catch-all for a group of fascinating short presentations. For example the panelists will address such questions as:

NYCLN Youth Committee 1st Session  

The New Youth City Learning Network (NYCLN), a community of New York institutions that helps young people find, explore, and connect different interest-driven and civic-minded learning opportunities beyond the classroom, recently developed a Youth Committee that launched last week. The Committee is being led by Global Kids, Inc. (Daria, Barry), Cooper-Hewitt (Monica), and the American Museum of Natural History (Michael), with support from NYCLN (Jess).

The first phase of the Youth Committee, which will meet every three weeks from February through June, has three main objectives. The youth will act as technology advisors to the Network about which digital tools and social networking platforms could serve the entire Network, help plan a city-wide digital media festival for youth called Emoti-Con that will take place in June 2011, and strategize for a longer term Youth Committee that will run for the duration of a school year. The Youth Committee will also be doing thinking around the significance of networked learning by examining their personal learning ecologies and, in a broader sense, make sure the youth we serve have a say in the shape of the network.

Passport to Nigeria Students Dance, Sing, and Make Music 

This week, students in Global Kids and Museum for African Art’s Passport to Nigeria program had an especially exciting workshop with two guest artists. Michael Wimberly, accomplished percussionist and composer, and Corey Baker, stellar choreographer and dancer who was part of the cast of the Broadway musical Fela!, engaged students in a workshop about Fela Kuti’s life and music.

Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician and activist who pioneered Afrobeat music and championed social change. Students learned about his influence around the world and how he inspired so many people after him to devote their talent and art for social change and activism.

Students also had the chance to make music and dance, which you can see and hear when you watch the video below!

For more photos, click here. To learn more about Passport to Nigeria, click here.