[VVP/Teen] Meeting Ishmael Beah 

Today, Sam, Nafiza, and I went to meet the author of the a memoir A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah. It was a conversation between Beah and Tom Brokaw, a journalist. Tom Brokaw was asking questions about Ishmael's experience of being a child soldier, and how did he get out of it. The audience also got the chance to ask questions during the conversation. After the conversation, Nafiza and I lined up to wait for Ishmael to sign on my copy of A Long Way Gone. Fortunately, Nafiza got chance to ask for advice from him on something that he thinks should be in our film. However, he didn't really answer our question. He said it's going to depend on us. Despite the disappointment of his answer, it was a great time to be there to meet him and to hear about his experience. He is a very nice and gentle person, and humorous too. One thing that I like lot about what he was saying is that many people in this country are always looking for more, and not caring about what they've have already, but in contrast, people who live in Sierra Leone, they are happy about what they have; even though what they have are very little. A lot of time, I felt the same way. In my school, we are so lucky that to have so many new books and laptops each year, and yet, I still heard people complaining. Sometimes, I saw books were being ripped and drawn on.

[Teen/VVP] Machinima and then Ishmael Beah 

Today at Machinima we worked on both scripting and storyboarding, and it was pretty...chaotic. However, I did not get to stay until the end to see how everything turned out because I went to see Ishmael Beah with Ting at the Council on Foreign Relations. It was really great to get a chance to see him and talk to him. But what made the trip especially funny was that people kept mistaking Kevin from GK for Ishmael. Anyway, the place was beautiful and very well organized and we got to meet Carole Artigiani from Global Kids, along with more staff/global kids trainers. So overall, it was a good experience, I got to take some great notes on what Ishmael Beah had to say about his experiences. I think it was really useful information and I think we can really put it to use in our Machinima on Child Soldiers. I asked him what would be the one thing he could suggest to us to put in our film on Machinima and he said that he would want to show that there is hope and that they can go through rehab and IN TIME they can improve and come out of it. So I guess, we are showing that or we are suggesting it through showing him in front of the I.C.C. at the end. So, hopefully we can start filming soon!--and hopefully, we got the script and storyboard done today!

[sl/teen] Grid Unification Debate 

Across the battlefields the warriors prepared for batt- Alright, maybe not ‘quite’ that.

Imagine a world free of segregation, a world without discrimination – A world that we live in? Not quite, but the goal is within our reach. Grid Unification is the first step – one to remove unneeded censorship and age discrimination. A movement that benefits everybody. Not long ago, Saturday, April 28th, Grid Unification was discussed on Global Kids’ Teen Grid Island in a two-sided debate – Those Pro to the Unification, and those Con to it. Both sides stated their opinions and the debate was underway!

[Extended Entry]

Note: The views expressed in this article do not necessarily officially reflect those of Global Kids, including but not limited to Global Kids the title, those working at the Global Kids organizations, nor are these views shared (officially, of course) by the coffee-stained servers in the basement

[sl] GK uses Second Life to Present at NTEN 

Global Kids was invited to present on a Games 4 Change panel at this year's Non-Profit Technology Network (NTEN) conference. However, we could not attend in person. Luckily they were game (pun intended) to have me present via Skype and Second Life. We are told it went really well and the audience of 45 received it well. Maybe if other venues are up for it, this can be a new way for Global Kids to present at more conferences.

Below, Benjamin Stokes from MacArthur on the left showed his SL screen at the conference, Moo Money on the left watched, and Susan from TechSoup (who was at the conference) stood by my side.

Update April 19, 2006
What nice feedback from the conference organizers to me and the others on my panel! "Thank you for the outstanding job you did at the NTC! We have honestly never heard such positive feedback from attendees about sessions. It seems that you've all done an outstanding job of teaching and inspiring, and we hope that you got as much out of the experience as the attendees did."

Update May 9, 2006
Okay, the strange keeps getting stranger. As Woody Allen said, "80 percent of success is just showing up." Well, apparently not any more.

I went There 

Today, with the generous support of Betsy and Frank, I went today, for the first time, into a formal presentation setting within There, the virtual world. I am the fellow on the right:

After sharing details about Global Kids programs, I asked them what they like about There and the educational potential they see within that environment. It was a nice start exploring if Global Kids can move beyond Second Life to have a presence in other virtual worlds.

[vvp] GK Leaders release first social issue machinima 

After spend the school year learning the basics of creating machinima in Second Life, this week the youth leaders have completed their five 30-second long Public Service Announcements.

Each of the five teams selected a different issue related to digital media around which to create their PSA. Working on their own and with other teen residents of Second Life, they created their avatars, costumes, sets and props. Post-production was done on computers provided by the Museum of the Moving Image, who helped develop and teach some of the program.

The videos below are the students first attempt to create Second Life-based machinima around important social issues.

View it on YouTube here.

Also available for download and to be podcast:


The latest issue of ISTE's Learning & Leading with Technology features an article, entitled Real-Life Migrants on the Muve: Stories of Virtual Transitions which includes interviews from both Peg Sheehan from the Teen Grid Ramapo Islands project and our own Barry Joseph of Global Kids. Below is an excerpt.

[SL] Secondlife.com Spotlights 3 Global Kids videos 

Three of our favorite Global Kids videos are up on the Education section of SecondLife.com and that that makes us smile.


[sl] Exit-interview with Mercury Metropolitan 

On April 27, 2007, I had the pleasure of hosting an informal exit-interview with Mercury Metropolitan, who has been a part-time Teen Second Life Remote Intern for the last five months on Global Kids Island, to talk about his experience and to allow him to share his thoughts with the residents in Teen Second Life and the public in general. Mercury provided many suggestions for the future and insightful tips for future interns. Below is a summary of the dialogue we had with Mercury.

Tabitha Gkid: Thank you Mercury for taking the time today and share about your role on Global Kids Island. To begin, please tell us about yourself and how you became a GK TSL intern…

Mercury Metropolitan: Okay, well, I am a male in real life for those of you who didn't know..haha, big shocker, I know! I'm 17 years old and live in the USA. I don't actually work in the GK Offices in New York. I work here in the comfort of my bedroom.

Mercury Metropolitan: I didn't know what to expect at first, other than what the initial application stated. It seemed to cover a number of diverse roles that I had to play. Most of them involved duties such as designing and executing the GK Camp program.

[conf] Global Kids a Gold Sponsor of first ever 24-Conference in Second Life 

Global Kids are a Gold Sponsor of the very first, 24-hour, Second Life International Best Practices in Education Conference. The conference will be held on May 25, 2007 in venues all over the Second Life, with exciting presentations, vendors and exhibitors exploring the possibilities for teaching, learning, and research in Second Life.

We will be on site and also have in-world copies of our UNICEF Summer Camp Comic Book to give away.

Details about the conference can be found here.

Make sure to look for us there!