Global Kids at MobilityShifts 2011 

6239880244_8817da5dea_b.jpegBelow you will find a recap provided by the Hive Learning Network that discusses a recent presentation by Global Kids at MobilityShifts 2011.

MobilityShifts: An International Future of Learning Summit was a week-long summit that took place from October 10-16, 2011 and featured a conference, workshops, a science fair, performances, and exhibitions focused on the changing landscape of learning using digital media. A continuation of The New School’s biennial Politics of Digital Culture conference series, MobilityShifts added an international layer to the current debate about learning with digital media, with a particular emphasis on learning outside the bounds of schools and universities.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at MS 391 - Day 1 

After a successful run in the spring semester Global Kids is back at the Angelo Patri Middle School 391 in the Bronx. Since our last run our students from the program graduated onto high school allowing us to work with an entirely new group of excited 7th and 8th graders. On our first day students were given an overview of the program and discussed what is gaming. The discussion led to what is mobile gaming and how we can use it to teach local history. This semester we will be using a new platform called Aris as the basis of our game which will allow for more creativity from the students with its many customization features. Using a game we created ahead of time, the group was able to test the basic functions of Aris. Students grasped the concepts quickly and were immediately buzzing with ideas for story-lines and characters.

Report: The Introduction of Badges in a K-5 Jewish Day School 

... download report ...


The follow is a short report by Global Kids to the Covenant Foundation on the Introduction of Badges in a K-5 Jewish Day School. It was originally written November, 2010 then updated, with an addendum, in July, 2011. With the new level of attention to learning badges, ignited in large part from the focus of the fourth Digital Media and Learning Competition on "Badges for Lifelong Learning," we thought it would be useful to share one case study of creating a badging system from scratch within one learning institution. Currently, we are hard at work with a school in Atlanta iterating the process described within the report (and on a much broader scale) and looking at an addition site in Brooklyn as well. (more on all that here)

In short, in January, 2010, the Covenant Foundation introduced Global Kids to Bob Berk, a principal of a K-5 Jewish Day School in the South. Supported by a new grant from the Foundation, together we explored how this K-5 school could use up to 70 hours of Global Kids’ time to enhance and expand its use of digital media for learning. After some initial meetings, the school decided to move forward with an emerging model of alternative assessment, commonly found in today’s widely used video games: badges. This report is a description of the overall project.

Badging Systems For Learning at Global Kids 

For over three years, Global Kids has been implementing a wide range of programs using badging systems to support youth learning, in school, out of school, in museums and libraries and more.

Badging systems, which also may include digital transcripts and portfolios, can motivate learning, provide scaffolding to support personalized, interest-driven paths through an organization (or across organizations), encourage meta-cognitive skills around one's learning process (to value what is being learned, have language to describe it, and understand in which contexts it is also valued), and offer an assessment that can be customized, peer-advised, and transferable to a variety of domains.

Global Kids is proud to have been asked by Hive NYC to coordinate its presence at this year's Maker Faire within the Young Makers Tent. Youth from over a dozen NYC informal learning institutions have come together with educators from their organizations to create a fantastic collection of youth-friendly and family-oriented activities, all weekend long.

Games in Education Symposium 

On August 22, 2011 Global Kids took part in the Games in Education Symposium. Games in Education is a conference focusing on the use of games "to inspire classroom education." The symposium was sponsored and organized by 1st Playable Productions "an independent game development studio with a focus on handheld games for kids."

I presented on "Games for Youth Civic Engagement" focusing on two projects that I have been directly involved in the past few months here at Global Kids. The first one, NYC Haunts, was a pilot program in collaboration with the The New York Public Library where middle school students from the MS 391 in The Bronx participated in the design of a location-based game using the platform SCVNGR to inform players of the game on local history and larger global issues.

The second project discussed was "Let's Talk Sustainability", a five weeks intensive program for high school students held at Global Kids offices that used the virtual world Second Life to engage youth leaders with program content such as alternative energy sources and key terms, while also training them in the use of virtual world broadcasting.

Let's Talk Sustainability Wrap Up 

DSC00964.JPGTwo weeks ago was the conclusion of the first phase of Let’s Talk Sustainability, an intensive youth development program that supports high school youth to develop expertise regarding sustainability, online broadcasting, and virtual world construction. Global Kids youth in New York City combined this expertise to produce talk shows that will feature live interviews with scientists and other STEM-related professionals, pre-produced videos, and audience activities. This talk show will be a virtual talk show, filmed within the virtual world Second Life, and will be archived with downloadable materials that will be made available for a broader audience and classrooms around the world.

Let’s Talk Sustainability introduced Global Kids youth to a broad range of concepts related to the topic of sustainability including energy, urbanization, pollution, biodiversity, global warming, and food justice. Youth selected three subtopics to research and designed hour-long talk shows to address each one. Each show was designed to introduce youth audiences to what professionals are doing in these fields and showcase what youth can do to live in a more sustainable world.

Let's Talk Sustainability Staff Reflection  

fort%20greene%20park.jpgFor five weeks this summer, I ran a summer youth program with a few colleagues called “Let’s Talk Sustainability” (LTS). LTS is a youth development program that teaches high school students about sustainability with a STEM focus. The intense summer portion of the program had us meeting with students for five consecutive weeks every Monday-Thursday for full days. Overall, the program was very manageable, due in large part to the enormous amount of preparation that went into developing the curriculum for this program.

Still, despite all the preparation in the world, programs take a life of their own once they start, mainly because the youth who join create their own dynamic That, and there are always unforeseen elements that are beyond our control, no matter how much we anticipate them (i.e. technical difficulties, student behavior, weather conditions on field trips, etc).

Let's Talk Sustainability Video Reflections 

As we wrapped up Let's Talk Sustainability, our youth created short videos to reflect on their time spent in the five-week summer program. They were asked to introduce themselves, describe some of the highlights from the summer, and also mention what they want other teenagers to know about sustainability.

Below is Maria's video reflection and you can view the entire playlist here.

Final Day of Let's Talk Sustainability! 

Today was the final day of Let's Talk Sustainability! We started off the day with the group's favorite icebreaker: the Human Knot. Afterwards, students added their finishing touches to their talk show. To edit videos, they've learned how to use iMovie fairly quickly. Other youth finalized their scripts, created slideshows, and chose the music they want to use.

Afterwards, they finalized their outlines for the final two-minute video reflections to recap their five weeks in the program, and we recorded each student's reflection using a Flip camera. The youth had to not only recap their experience this summer, but also describe what they want other teenagers to know about sustainability.

After lunch, it was time for a closing activity in Second Life! The youth revisited a scavenger hunt game they placed in Week 3. They had to look for ten objects on Global Kids Island, which when clicked, would give them a question they had to answer. The questions they had to answer were based on the key terms and concepts they've learned throughout the program.