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Alexander asks Victoria a question using Switchboard
The screenshot here is kind of hard to parse so let me describe it. A young person (represented by the green furry) in Teen Second Life is composing a text message to send to another teen in Uganda that she will recieve on her cell phone as an SMS message.  Meanwhile my avatar (the purple robot) sits atop the chat history represented by floating text and blue bubbles that rise higher as each new message is sent.  This remarkable exchange from the virtual world to a regular cell phone is made possible by the grey device behind the bubbles, a tool we call "Switchboard."

A little background after the jump...

Today Shawna and I organized a very special workshop and discussion on
AIDS in Africa.  About a dozen teens converged on Global Kids Island in Teen Second Life to participate in the event.

John Palfrey from the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School wrote a recent article review on “The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning” publication which was edited by game designer and educator Katie Salen and was part of the MacArthur/MIT Press’s Digital Media and Learning series and included essays by Barry Joseph.

[DIDI] The D.I.D.I. Initiative comes to the Main Grid of SL! 

The D.I.D.I. Initiative is excited to announce that after extensive work on the teen grid since September 2007, we are excited to expand our efforts to the main grid this fall!

The Dream It. Do It. Initiative is an exciting partnership between Global Kids and Ashoka’s Youth Venture, open to young people and student groups in Second Life. Through January of 2009, the D.I.D.I. Initiative is supporting up to 40 teams of young people to launch ventures that benefit their communities, either within or outside the virtual world of Second Life.

D.I.D.I. empowers young people to identify social and health issues in their communities and to create and lead their own social ventures to address these issues. A venture can be a club, organization, business, or program that is ongoing and benefits one’s community in some way. With the D.I.D.I. Initiative’s support, each team of young people develops an action plan to design and launch their own social entrepreneurial projects. When the teams are ready to launch, the Initiative offers:

* Seed funding (up to $1,000 per team)
* Technical allies to provide additional advice and expertise
* Ongoing tools and support sessions

[p4k] Our latest game wins award! 

Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City was just awarded the
Editor's Choice Award from Children's Technology Review. Children's Technology Review (CTR) is an ad-free, subscriber-supported web and print-based publication. It is designed to keep educators, parents and librarians informed on commercial interactive media products designed for children, aged birth- to 15-years. The review appears in the September issue.

The Current Cover

[In the Media] 2008 Technology Summit 

Kelly Czarnecki writing for the School Library Journal online, covered the 2008 Technology Summit including mentioning our own Meghan Deana's presentation there.

Digital Youth Wired for Action - 2008 Technology Summit Report...

Also speaking was Meghan Deana of Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program, which integrates a youth development approach and international and public policy issues into youth media programs with the goal of building digital literacy, develop resources for educators, and promote civic participation. Deana shared some of the program’s successes working with at-risk students in New York City, such as Playing 4 Keeps, where teens research and develop socially conscious video games; classes on machinima; creating videos using the graphics from video games; and science classes taught in the virtual world of Second Life.

Meghan Deana

Read the full article here.

[In the Media] Barry on recent episode of YALSA podcast series 

The Young Adult Library Services Association featured Barry in a recent episode of their podcast series.

In this podcast Linda Braun talks with Barry Joseph and Amira Fouad (of Global Kids and RezEd) about topics related to teens, gaming, education, and virtual worlds.

Download the YALSA Podcast #54 - Global Kids & RezEd podcast mp3

[SL] Global Newswire covers release of SL curriculum 

During the Los Angeles Virtual Worlds conference, Global Newswire picked up the release of our new SL curriculum in their Public Affairs Newsline.

NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On September 3rd, Global Kids' Online Leadership Director Barry Joseph will speak to leaders in digital media and education at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Joseph will showcase the launch of Global Kids Second Life Curriculum -- the most significant resource in 2008 for those educators interested in incorporating virtual worlds into their classrooms.

The conference, on the theme of The Future of Media and Communications, will take place on September 3rd and 4th and feature such keynote speakers as Collin J. Parris, Ph.D., Vice President of Digital Convergence at IBM Research; and Steve Parkis, Senior Vice President of Disney Online.

[P4K] Children's Technology Review spotlights Tempest in Crescent City 

The magazine Children's Technology Review has not only published an excellent review of Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City with one week of its launch - "It is easy to play and has a valuable educational message... a good game for teachers to bookmark" - but awarded it an Editor's Choice Award as well. Check it out!

[conf] GK presenting en force this week! 

So for any of you out there that are fans of our work, be sure to catch us this week at two of the hottest virtual world events of the immediate post-summer, Virtual Worlds Expo and the Second Life Community Convention/SLED Community Conference . Over these two conferences we'll be presenting a total of (gasp) six times, with over a half dozen of us diligently working on our powerpoints and interactive workshops at this very moment.

Full details of our dance card after the jump!

At the Virtual Worlds Expo in Los Angeles:

Best Practices for Education in Virtual Worlds

Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 11am -12 pm PDT