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National Writing Project Digital Is Conference 

Global Kids and the Field Museum presented at the National Writing Project Digital Is conference in Philadelphia a few years ago. Below is the video of the presentation, in which the I Dig Science project is explained in detail. Global Kids leader Amana speaks her experience participating in the program. The video documents the development of the project, what it meant for participants to be part of it, and how it was conceived both by Global Kids and The Field Museum. It is one of the best overall descriptions of the program.

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 15 

ken%20miller.jpg Students spent a lot of time developing their talk shows by following the action plans they created earlier. Groups have made significant progress in developing their scripts, coming up with interview questions, and looking for multimedia elements to incorporate in their shows.

Jason writes about how his group is progressing:
The group project is now in full bloom. We are now focusing on our true masterpiece which will be about global warming and ways to prevent it. To me I feel like we are progressing faster then we thought even though we still have a lot to go to be finished with our final ending - a show on a grand stage in second life-. We are at least 15% done with this whole project and hopefully we'll be done with it by August 11th 2011. This is just a Small obstacle to walk over and finish with a bang.

-Jason

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 14 

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Students started off the day with an icebreaker that asked them to imagine that they had just inherited a prime piece of real estate: a large plot of underdeveloped land near a river. They had to work in groups to develop shops, homes, businesses, and other living necessities on the riverbank, in the most sustainable ways they could think of.

Students came up with great ideas that were inspired by many of the things they've learned in the program so far, such as: solar-powered rooftops, use of the river as a source of hydroelectric power, green spaces, farmer's markets, windmills, energy-saving appliances, etc.

Later in the day, students took a trip to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. They learned about how the subway system was made, walked through old train cars and compared them with the ones today, and discussed how the MTA has tried to incorporate more sustainable and environmentally-friendly elements over the years.

A couple of interesting facts that surprised most of us:

Today I had the opportunity to speak at the #140edu conference at the 92nd Street Y. It's a great gathering where presenters have 15 minutes to address the intersection of digital media and learning.

I decided to talk about our Edge Projects, as we now come to a close after two years, and do so in dialogue... with an animated character produced in advance.

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Here is the video:

Actually, that was a video we produced after the event to correct for some unfortunate audio malfunctions during the presentation. However, if you would like to see Barry actually speaking under and to his avatar, please watch this:

Below you can read some of the live comments sent from the audience via Twitter during the presentation:

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 13 

It is already Week 4 of Let's Talk Sustainability! Students created action plans in their groups that detailed the actions/steps they need to complete for each task of their talk show. Their action plans included the resources and time they need to complete each task, as well as which group member is responsible for each task. Afterwards, an outline of each talk show was drafted, including the timing for each segment.

Before lunch, students played a Human Barometer game about sustainability (where they are asked to agree/disagree to statements) that generated a lot of good discussion. In particular, the statement: "Restaurants such as McDonald’s should be held legally responsible if their customers get sick from eating their food regularly" led to a very heated debate.

In the afternoon, each group created their own Human Barometer questions based on their topics, which will eventually be played on Global Kids Island in Second Life. Then they continued to work on their talk shows by doing research to identify experts and institutions they want to reach out to as guests for their show.

Let's Talk Sustainability Day 12 

Today, participants continued working in groups, developing their project guide by listing elements of a talk show. They wrote the elements an audience see and the behind the scenes parts needed to produce a show such as sound check, stage management, lighting and directing. They also discussed some of the design elements that will be part of their show stage. After that discussion, they actually had a talk by a the producer of the Virtually Speaking show in Second Life who gave them advise on how to prepare for the show: read about the guest speaker, train the guests in the use of Second Life, and have as much information about the topic and the guest speaker as possible.
Dancing at the square

They continued preparing for their talk show by interviewing people about their topic with flip cameras, later watching what they filmed and providing feedback to each other.

Global Kids NYC Haunts Presenting at the TASC Digital Learning Forum 

Global Kids Leaders Katrina Brown and Yaa Dwomah joined by staff member Joliz Cedeño presented at Where the Kids Are: the TASC Digital Learning In & Out of School Time Forum yesterday at the Google Offices in New York City. The morning consisted of an incredible panel moderated by CNN's Soledad O'Brien featuring An-Me Chung, Associate Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation; Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University relations at Google; Katie Salen, Executive Director of Institute of Play; and Tom Vander Ark, CEO of OpenEd Solutions; and closing remarks made by Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. Discussions ranged from encouraging digital learning throughout the school day as opposed to discouraging media consumption, having blended learning programs in partnership with community based organizations, the importance of fostering more STEM majors, and the value of games as an educational tool.

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 11 

postcard.jpgToday, students continued their research, with the focus on narrowing down their topic. The global warming group decided to focus on solutions to slowing down the process of global warming. The food justice group decided to focus on factory farming. The waste and recycling group decided to focus on electronic waste. Afterwards, students played a food justice game that focused on access to healthy and affordable foods, by asking them to role-play and pretend to go shopping for different groceries. Students felt that the game was very realistic about the real-life choices that families have to make when they shop for food.

One student Hugo wrote:
The experience from playing food justice was fun but it was base of reality. the poorer people could not afford the meals or grocery the first class people was buying and eating, because they are poor and don't got enough money so they don,t have any choice of what to buy. they first class people have the chance to buy more organic food and so.

-Hugo

Let's Talk Sustainability Day 10  

Global Kids youth leaders participating in the Let's Talk Sustainability program spent the day cleaning the Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. The service was part of the the Stoked to Serve program. Stoked to Serve "strives to connect youth to their communities through service projects. The incentive-based program rewards youth for giving back to their communities."

LTS at Fort Green Park

At the end of the day, there were 44 bags of leaves collected by all the volunteers, each bag weighing from 5 to 25 pounds. Participants were hard at work and diligent raking the leaves in the park. It was a productive and great way for them to be connected to the local community and to provide service by beautifying the park.

LTS cleaning the park

More coverage of GK's NYC Haunts 

Published in The MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight on Digital Media, "Technology Brings Bronx Teens Closer to Their Own Neighborhood" described in glowing terms Global Kids' recent collaboration with the New York Public Library on NYC Haunts.

"This is a great example of a public library being used as a community center where kids have the chance to experiment with technology." To read the rest, go here.