P4K Internship Program Begins 

6305693181_0bb5a33716_m.jpg On Tuesday, Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program launched this year’s “Playing 4 Keeps” internship program. 25 high school students were selected from a pool of applicants and will meet once a week on Tuesdays at Global Kids’ office for the entire school year. P4K Interns will play games, design social impact games using Gamestar Mechanic, meet professionals in the game design field, act as judges in a national competition, and develop leadership skills.

Global Kids Youth Leaders met GK staffers, Daria and Barry, as well as staff members Scott and Michael from our partner E-Line Media. E-Line Media is an educational game publishing company that developed Gamestar Mechanic.

In this first session, youth developed their first game using found objects to address social issues. For example, one group used a toy bear, a marble, and two tennis balls to create a game called “Feed the Bear” about animal cruelty and wildlife preservation. Another group created a game about pollution and a third group created a game to address famine. Afterwards, youth created their accounts in Gamestar Mechanic.

GK Leveraging "City as Game Board"  

In a recent interview about the Hive Learning Networks, with Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, Chris Lawrence, director of Hive NYC, and Connie Yowell, director of education at the MacArthur Foundation, Chris recently used their funding of GK's new geocaching program to address the question of why organizations until recently haven’t been operating as networks.

[It] is an audience question. The populace wasn’t as hungry and thirsty for it until recently. So the audience is driving this kind of collaboration, this understanding of the city as a larger learning space—the city as a game board. The trick now is to infuse that “city as game board” with some learning.

One of the Hive NYC organizations, Global Kids, is, for example, tapping into the online geocaching culture—a totally interest-driven, user-driven culture and community—to answer that question. They’re using geocaching to map the coming 2012 elections and civic engagement strategies with geocaching strategies. They’re using the city as game board but putting in some content that affects cities. The geocaching infrastructure is already there. The process is already on the phones. They’re just leveraging with a learning goal.

The news is out: Funding for City Kids and Teens to Geek Out Anytime, Anywhere: $590,000 for 12 Groups that Help Kids Connect and Learn through Digital Media. These funds are part of an effort from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust to expand the possibilities for digital learning.

In general, the latest round of grants will help develop and expand projects that use smart phones, iPads, social networks, and programming skills to help students become media makers as well as consumers, connecting the social and academic and making the world a better place.

Global Kids is thrilled to have receive funding from four proposals submitted in the latest round:

Civic Geocaching
This is a spring program in which GK youth will identify a civic issue and educate their peers and their community through a scavenger hunt-style activity called geocaching. It will be developed in partnership with youth and staff at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. A second proposal will support us to work with Mills College to evaluate the program.

Let's Talk Sustainability: Upcoming Show on Food Production! 


Let's Talk Sustainability is a youth-run talk show that supports teens 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 interviews with STEM-related professionals, pre-produced videos, and audience activities. Each show is designed to introduce audiences to what they can do to live in a more sustainable world.

Join us as audience members as we test our first show! Everyone is welcome!

Upcoming Show:

Food Production - Youth will examine food justice issues as well as factory farming and its effect on our environment.

Friday, October 28, 2011
4:30pm EST

Location: New Media Consortium Convention Center http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NMC%20Conference%20Center/201/29/48

To participate as audience members, please fill out this simple form so we can get to know our audience better: http://tinyurl.com/68ozchq

The Future of Education 

The following is an article written by Global Kids Leader Sharon Mizrahi about the work she has done within our programs and the value of after-school education.


The Global Kids Youth Planning Committee presenting awards to the finalists of the Emoti-Con technology expo.

The Future of Education

by Sharon Mizrahi

"Folks, you're looking at the future of education," said my history teacher, motioning to the new SmartBoard perched atop the remains of our old chalkboard. The computer-powered whiteboard was quite an impressive gadget, for sure. But when I think about the future of education, a different picture pops into my mind. I see me and my peers brainstorming ideas around a canvas in a Chelsea gallery, having thoughtful conversations with artists and scientists, holding fierce debates over cups of apple juice, getting inspired while planning the third annual Emoti-Con Festival... I see us learning through creating.

"Playing 4 Keeps" Internship Program Accepting Applications 


Do you play online games? Ever wonder what it would be like to make one? What if that game could teach people about an important social issue, like racism or police profiling? In the P4K internship, teens will work with GK staff to learn about global issues, game design skills, and how game design companies make games.

By year’s end, youth will have played games, designed games for social good, visited game design companies, and developed leadership skills. In addition, they will have designed and launched two online game design challenges to their peers around the country. The program will partner with game publishers E-line Media.

About the Program

Each student intern is required to put in a minimum of 2 hours per week at Global Kids’ office in Manhattan, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-6:00pm from November 2011 through June 2012. All absences must be excused in advance or, in the case of emergencies, excused afterwards. Occasionally, students may be asked to come in during school holidays or weekends for field trips or special events.

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.