[tsl/leadership] The teen grid votes Obama! 

TSL Votes Obama!

As we blogged yesterday, yesterday in TSL we coordinated a mock election. With the help of many amazing teens including Ryan Dayton, who scripted a grid-wide voting system, and Victoria Hanfoi, who put together non-partisan candidate fact sheets to place near the polls (not to mention staying online all day yesterday teleporting people to vote!), we managed to hold what we think might be the first ever mock US Presidential Vote in a teen virtual world.

After teens voted, many stopped in and participated in a GK Intern run event by Lee Soothsayer and Nate Kongo; an open mic/debate about the race and the issues related to it. (Look for a blog post from them soon!) It was incredible just to be a fly on the wall during the event, listening as teens debated really touchy issues from abortion to the war in an incredibly civil way.

Oh? What's that? You want to know who won the TSL mock election? Oh, right! Here are the results:

358 Votes Total

John McCain/Sarah Palin: 91 votes. (25%)

[mm] Announcing the GK Media Masters Program! 

Media Masters Logo

I'm excited to announce to the blog-o-webs today the launch of GK's newest project, the Media Masters afterschool program! Media Masters, or M(2), is our first attempt at creating a face to face afterschool program that has students utilizing a wide range of participatory media and Web 2.0 tools (as opposed to focusing on one medium) to gain leadership and media literacy skills in the context of addressing global and local issues.

We're working with our incredible partners at MIT's Project New Media Literacies to take the activities that they've been developing in their Learning Library to promote new media literacy acquisition and adapt them to GK's style of global issue education in the afterschool setting.

Real World Impacts from Virtual World Event Nov 17 2008
On Monday November 17, Global Kids invites you to "Real World Impact From the Virtual World" in Second Life. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the USC Network Culture Project and Global Kids invite you to a sneak preview of a new Second Life sim that features MacArthur programs and grantees. The event will be held on November 17, 2008 from 1-5pm PST.

Join us to learn about how groups use virtual spaces like Second Life to build real opportunities -- preserving native peoples' cultures, creating accessible spaces for people with disabilities, helping obese people make healthy life choices and teaching underprivileged youth about paleontology and science.

[staff] OLP Staff Reflections October 2008 

OLP Staff @ Global Kids

Greetings! Hope this finds all of you energetic and well. Staff reflections are a great way to see how the OLP staff are thinking. For my first month here, it was great reading through the team’s thoughts to get a feel for how OLP and GK in general works.

There has been a lot happening in the past month: Tabitha went with some GK teens to a Machinima Festival at the Eyebeam Center, Amira and Meghan have started up a new round of D.I.D.I. initiatives and new ideas have been spinning with the start of the new school year.

[tsl/leadership] Teens in Second Life cast their virtual vote today! 

Voting Booth in TSL

Young people under the age of 18 usually don't get to experience the joys of voting in the United States.  But today teens on the Teen Grid of Second Life can head to Global Kids island (click here to teleport) to vote for their favorite presidential candidate. A virtual voting booth, created by teen Ryan Dayton, will be automatically tabulating votes for the next 24 hours until midnight PST.  Other voting booths will be scattered across the Teen Grid today as well.

UPDATE 11:30 pm EST:  Here's the poll numbers so far - TSL Mock Election Statistics: 358 Votes Total
John McCain/Sarah Palin: 91 votes (25%). Barack Obama/Joe Biden: 245 votes (68%). Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle: 2 votes (1%). Bob Barr/Wayne Allen Root: 7 votes (2%). Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente: 2 votes (1%). Ralph Nadar/Matt Gonzalez: 11 votes (3%).

[p4k] Launch of Tempest workshops 

As part of our ning social media site for our P4K game, Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City, we have launched this past week new curriculum workshops. They include an online and an offline workshop.

Tempest in Crescent City Online Workshop
Global Kids workshop to be used in conjunction with Tempest in Crescent City.

Tempest in Crescent City Offline Workshop
Global Kids workshop which can be used without playing Tempest in Crescent City or as a supplement to the online workshop.

You can find out more details at http://tempestincrescentcity.ning.com/educators where you can download both workshops in their entirety along with other resource materials focused on Hurricane Katrina. We would love any comments or thoughts on them as well.

[press] HASTAC writes about RezEd.org, I Dig Tanzania and Virtual Worlds 

Recently on the HASTAC, The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory blog, Sheryl Grant writes on RezEd.org, virtual worlds and Global Kids programs like I Dig Tanzania.

In the I Dig Tanzania summer camp, students were part of a guided experience, using avatars to bridge gaps of distance and understanding with the help of educators and mentors. Given how easy it is to be invisible and anonymous online, virtual worlds can sometimes raise ethical questions -- for youth and adults alike. Like anything that we do with kids, positive mentoring and best practices play an important role, themes that run through RezEd's community.

It has some great quotes from James Paul Gee, and our own Amira Fouad and Barry Joseph.

"Virtual worlds are not escapist fantasies but a new way to extend our lives and our sense of self. How can virtual worlds expand our lives in new ways," asks Joseph, "What social affects arise as a result, and are these results desirable?" It will be communities of practice like RezEd and pioneering groups like Global Kids that will help determine the answers.

Click here, to read the full article.

On Friday, October 24, we had a really neat event at the Global Kids' International Justice Center in Second Life, featuring digital artists / activists Peggy Weil (Ping Rau in SL) and Nonny de la Peña (Nonny Writer).  Thirty-some avatars logged in to listen to Nonny and Peggy talk about their innovative art installations in SL that explore themes of due process / Habeas Corpus, immigration, nationalism, and civil liberties. 

[SL] If you haven't already...download our SL curriculum 

Recently we released our Second Life Curriculum which focuses on a series of 9 levels of lessons plans geared either to use within a classroom or independently to learn Second Life skills.

You can download them directly from RezEd.org. And another great thing about the curriculum is that we are offering it under a creative commons licensing (BY, NC, SA), so feel free to edit them to your needs.

We have gotten lots of great feedback and members of the educational community that have jumped in to help continue to evolve and contribute to the curriculum. Jeremy Kemp has created a great wiki space if you are interested in this - visit it here. He is also working on integrating it with Sloodle and a within SL version as well.

We will also be offering printed copies for sale on LuLu - stay tuned!

The summary of all nine levels are below, along with a link back to the post on RezEd where you can download them. You can also download a version of all levels compiled together here.

[Conf] SL's CEO Mark Kingdon's inspired by GK 

One of the highlights at SLCC was Philip Rosedale and Mark Kingdon addressing the conferenceover breakfast. During Mark's part of the talk, he mentioned several times how much he was moved by his visit to the GK offices & seeing first hand our work in TSL.


And there was a moment, when I first started, I was trying to get out to visit folks and I went to meet with the folks at Global Kids in New York and I got to see some of the kids using Second Life to learn. I get choked up whenever I think about it because it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen happen and it is such a profound responsibility. And, of course, what went through my head was gee I can't screw this up.

Man I tell you, I love school, but when I saw the kids at Global Kids using Second Life to learn, I was like, I think I will just quit my job and go back to school. Because if that is what learning will be like in the future, I think we will be a much richer society for it.