Global Kids at World Maker Faire 


photo credit: H. Jack Martin

Over the weekend, Global Kids was at the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science! We were part of the New Youth City Learning Network (NYCLN), which includes many of our partner organizations, including The American Museum of Natural History and the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo. As part of the Urban Biodiversity Network (UBN), Global Kids was involved with an innovative mobile learning project that uses an Android phone application to engage students in exploring their neighborhoods and becoming citizen scientists. Youth at AMNH and the Bronx Zoo walked around with their phones and completed tasks, such as identifying organisms and photographing species, and then uploaded all their content onto a social media site where they could blog and see each other’s data. They earned digital badges that we created for a wide range of skills and literacies, including ecoliteracy, geoliteracy, and digital media literacy.

I Dig Brazil Begins! 

View I Dig Brazil: Piauí, Maranhão & Tocantins in a larger map
This week was the beginning of "I Dig Brazil," the third installment in our successful "I Dig Science" camps that Global Kids has been running for the past two years with our friends at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. My colleague Santi and I are excited to be running "I Dig Brazil" at the High School for Global Citizenship in Brooklyn, a great public school where each student is expected to not only achieve academic excellence but also to learn about global issues and global citizenship.

New Youth City Learning Network Projects at World Maker Faire New York 2010  

The upcoming World Maker Faire taking place in NYC will be featuring projects of the New Youth City Learning Network that includes the involvement of Global Kids and other NYC area partner orgs.

OLP Program Associate Positions Filled, New Position Available 

This Summer, the Online Leadership Program at Global Kids was looking to add new talent to our crack team of educators, geeks and activists. To accomplish this, we initiated what we think was a bold experiment in hiring processes. We asked folks to forgo the usual resumé and cover letter, which we have found leads to hundreds of submissions from unqualified applicants that we have to sift through, within which even the best applicants leave out the key information we need to know (most, for example, won’t list “Guild Leader, World of Warcraft, 2008-2010). Instead we asked people to create a short presentation of their personal learning, in a map form, using whatever form of media they wished. We had hoped that this would provide us a more insightful, personal and in-depth description of the applicant that would speed up the review process.

Rik in Article on Teen Second Life Closure 

The Journal on Transforming Education Through Technology has published an article on the closure of Teen Second Life that opens with a quote from me:

"It's like somebody died." That's how at Rik Panganiban described the K-12 education community's reaction to the closing of Teen Grid at a recent inworld meeting between educators and other members ofNonprofit Commons in Second Life. "It's a horrible tragedy that I wish could be avoided."

Writer Denise Harrison does a well-researched piece on the impending shuttering of the Teen Grid, what it means for educators, and what other alternatives are out there.

See the complete article here.

Rik Addresses Nonprofit Commons about Teen Second Life Transition 

Rik speaking on Teen Grid Transition at Nonprofit Commons MeetingThis morning I gave a brief talk about the impending Teen Grid transition that Barry and I have written about. I was at one of the regular Nonprofit Commons meetings in Second Life, talking with about 40 other nonprofit folks facilitated by Glitteractica Cookie of Techsoup.

Global Kids Fundraiser Screening of "Abraham's Children" a Big Success! 

Q & A w Nina and Isram
On Wednesday, August 25, Global Kids was honored to host a screening of the new documentary "Abraham's Children," a series of intimate and frank profiles of ten Muslim-American teenagers in the New York area directed by Nina Froriep. It was a very special night as around 30 people gathered to watch the film, share an interfaith "iftar" meal together, and discuss the film with the director and one of the stars of the film Imran Chaudhri.

We want to acknowledge with gratitude Nina Froriep for allowing us to show the film as a fundraiser for Global Kids. The funds raised will go far towards helping our teens learn about the world around them, connect with people across cultures and serve their communities. (If you weren't able to attend but would like to support Global Kids, see our website.)

Sunukaddu - a voice for youth in Senegal 

This summer we were contacted by Laurel Felt, a Doctoral student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism who was working on a educational project in Senegal. We were happy to share some of our wisdom and help out her project by sharing resources and thoughts on our Digital Expressions Digital Transcript. Below is a guest post by Laurel detailing the results of this.

Why I'm Excited about the Closure of Teen Second Life 

Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, recently announced that they will be closing their youth-only virtual world Teen Second Life at the end of the year. As one of the educators who runs programs on the "Teen Grid," I was initially quite upset about the news, sharing Barry Joseph's view that this was a sad loss of a youth-run online space.

I have had some time to process the news, and think about the reprecussions for our work at Global Kids. I would say now that the Teen Grid transition has both positive and negative aspects for us and for the teens that we work with. But on the whole, I think it creates more opportunities for Global Kids and the teens in our programs than problems.

But first let's look at the negative repercussions...

Negative Aspects of the Teen Grid Transition

Coverage of our most recent Watson Fellow Intern 

We are more than proud of our latest Global Kids OLP summer intern Peter Xu. Though his internship is now over, we were delighted to read the press release from his university that spoke of Peter receiving a Watson Fellowship and interning at Global Kids.

"This summer thanks to the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship, a program that provides on-the-job paid learning opportunities for promising New York City undergraduates, Xu is getting an opportunity to use his technological ability and serve society. Xu works in their Online Leadership Program (OLP), using digital media to design web-based curricula and educational games. He credits this experience with crystallizing his career objective to become an engineer working on green innovations, a position that combines technology with public service."

This release was even picked up by two Chinese newspapers: World Journal and Singtao. Congrats Peter on work well done!

Read the full press release here.