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[sl] Land for use as Virginia Tech Memorial 

By now, I'm sure many of you have heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech on 4/16/07. In order to share our condolences and reflect on the incident, we have allocated land on Global Kids island for just that. The land can be found here.

Anyone who wishes to build something in memoriam or reflection of the terrible events that took place at Virginia Tech are free to do so on this land. I have created an obelisk on the land so that it is more visible to those who wish to build.

[sl] GK Second Life Internship Program Launches! 

Starting this month, Global Kids will start to work with a handful of teen residents from Second Life on our new GK Internship Program. In the program, teens that we've often worked with in the past will be given the opportunity to develop, promote, facilitate and document their own events on Global Kids Island, in addition to helping out on larger events that we run.

Part of Global Kids' mission is to help foster leaders with critical thinking skills, and this program will aim to encourage the development of reflective teen leaders while giving back to the larger TSL community. Expect lots of different types of events, from those relating to global issues to more local teen grid issues, classes of various sorts, discussions, debates and much more. Also look for posts right here on Holy Meatballs from the interns!

[sl] How should we respond to the Virginia Tech shootings? 

This is a thread for teen residents of Second Life to share their thoughts of how we can help provide spaces or activities for you to respond to the Virginia tech shootings. More information on the tragedy can be found here.

As there are many education institutions in Second Life, specifically ones from Virginia Tech, the SL educational community has rapidly responded with ideas, from creating memorials to addressing the issues of violence in schools.

If you are a teen resident, please use the comment space below to let us know if you'd like to see Global Kids do something on our islands in response. Some ideas are:
- Turn the island to night for the week.
- Hold a workshop or discussion about the issues of violence in society.
- Create a space for teens to leave monuments.
- Get copies of monuments from the main grid.

We are open to any and all ideas.

[sl] The Teen Grid Has Been Redistricted 

As detailed here and here, the Global Kids Estate has been redistricted this weekend as part of a teen-grid wide reorganization to group like islands with like: teen with teen, Linden with Linden, and adult with adult.

redistricting

This means we can FINALLY learn what organizations own islands in the teen grid. So with a little photoshop magic, I created a map detailing all adult-owned islands in the teen grid. Keep in mind, most are closed - only for teens who work with the organization or school (Ramapo)- or seasonal (KidsConnect) or not yet opened to the public (British Council) or even abandoned (Unreal?).

And when it comes to all of those other islands, outside Global Kids, Eye4You Alliance and the PacRim Alliance, I can only ask one question. Who are you? And what are you doing/will be doing in TSL? (Okay, two questions. Sue me...)

[dmi] Global Kids' FocusOnDigitalMedia.org site launches! 

Last week, Global Kids launched FOCUS: Teen Voices on Digital Media and Society, located at www.FocusOnDigitalMedia.org. FOCUS is a series on online dialogues, led by teens, around issues they face in their digital lives. As part of the larger MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative, these discussions will serve to bring youth perspectives to many of the debates that academics, journalists, parents, policy makers and educators are already having about digital media.

Featured discussions from FOCUS will be posted here on the Digital Media Initiative blog, as well as being available to read in full at FocusOnDigitalMedia.org.

[p4k] GK-authored article published in Threshold Magazine 

Global Kids had the honor of being invited to contribute an article about our work with our Playing 4 Keeps program to Threshold Magazine. The Spring 2007 issue of Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education features articles focused on taking educational innovation to scale, produced in partnership with the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF).

Click here to read the article, and here to read the whole issue.

[vvp] Machinima students put finishing touches on their machinima 

Yesterday the Virtual Video Project put their finishing touches on their first machinima project - five 30-second long machinima PSAs about digital media.

We took a lot of great photos from the day - check them out below and click for more.

[dmya/p4k/sl/nc/vvp] The First OLP Symposium 

On April 5th, 2007, thirty Global Kids leaders from five different Online Leadership Programs met each other for the first time at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens for the OLP Symposium. The teens toured the museum, presented the work from their programs, and participated in a panel for a Q&A.

The Playing 4 Keeps program began the day meeting with students and faculty at Parson's school of Design and Technology.

All of the students then met for lunch and then went to the museum. While the machinima students went to work on their final videos, the other programs - Newz Crew, Playing 4 Keeps, the Digital Media Youth Advisory, and GK in Second Life - went on tours of the Museum of the Moving Image, which hosted us for the day.

The students then gathered in the museums to show off the work from their projects.

Newz Crew
Anthony & Naama

Playing 4 Keeps
Syndie and Vladimyr

[sl] Global Kids and TSL Residents Help to Change Second Life Policy 

This just in! I received the following email for me from Blue Linden this evening.

Short story:
The geography of Teen Second Life is going to be restructured to clearly delineate teen-property from adult-property. This has occurred, in part, due to the conversations over the past three months, spurred by Global Kids, initially supported by the MacArthur Foundation, about the role of adults in the teen grid. The teens spoke and were heard.

Longer story:

This is an excerpt from an email I just happened to send to Blue and Claudia last week:

I had the pleasure of attending the 18th annual NYLC Service-Learning Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and brought along one of our finest GK youth, Nafiza, who is a student in our after-school Virtual Video Project program, to speak about our work in the virtual world of Second Life. I was also there to stream the conference into Second Life for the first time, and allowed teens in real-life to see teens in Second Life live during the opening plenary session. Everyone was curious about the teens they saw on the screens up on stage and were thrilled to know that those that were unable to attend the conference in New Mexico, were watching and listening in live from anywhere in the world.

For two days, we streamed the opening plenary session in the morning and a total of four workshops in the afternoon. We worked closely with the AV-Tech team, and the company that provided the Internet on-site. As a first timer to New Mexico, I was overwhelmed by the genuine smiles, hospitality and generosity by the folks there. We enjoyed cultural dances, Native Indian songs, Mexican food, and met with people from all walks of life. I talked to teens that were inspirational, and true leaders in the world of service-learning and volunteerism.