[Staff] March Staff Reflection 

Spring is finally here! Bring out the flip fops that takes you on a slapping musical journey with each step; the cute spring jacket that you were dieing to wear the entire winter; and let the blades of grass crease your toes - making you feel human again. Howdy readers, glade you survived the winter, and if you don't live where winter never greetings you, embrace spring with us. As always our brains are on the treadmill coming up with ideas, observations and reflecting about our world in the digital media and education landscape. Enjoy rummaging through our thought process.

Enjoy reading our blog.

Amira shares what it felt like to stand behind our GK youth leaders at
the Annual Global Kids conference this month.
The Youth Leaders of the GK Annual Global Kids Conference

Barry writes about what he might have said if he had been invited to give a testimony to Congress on virtual worlds.
My Testimony For Congress (had I been asked)...

James writes about the queerness of the justice system.
And justice for all

Service Learning Conference in Teen SL
The National Youth Leadership Council hosted its 19th Annual National Service Learning Conference in Minneapolis from April 9-12th, 2008. The NSLC is the largest gathering of youths and practitioners involved in the service-learning movement where participants connect through three days of plenary sessions, featured forums, and service projects.

Keynote speakers were: Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and urban educator and Pedro Noguera, author of Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools.

Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

For more information, email or call NSLC at: (800) 366-6952.

Global Kids streamed this event live on the web, in Teen Second Life and on the Main Grid (click here to teleport), as well as in Whyville.

[staff] My Testimony For Congress (had I been asked)... 

On April 1st, the 110th Congress Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing entitled Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium.

Listening to the testimony, it was hard not to imagine what I might have shared were I asked to testify. It might have gone something somewhat like this:

Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Stearns, and Members of the Subcommittee, we at Global Kids are honored to have this opportunity to share our experiences as experts working with youth and virtual worlds.

To provide background, in 2006, following extensive research into the educational potential of virtual worlds, Global Kids became the first nonprofit to develop a dedicated space for conducting educational programming in Teen Second Life (TSL). Specifically, Global Kids is conducting intensive leadership programming for youth, bringing students from its New York-based programs into the space, and streaming the audio and video of major events into the world. This work has received significant funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others, and been conducted in partnership with many other organizations, including UNICEF, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the International Criminal Court.

[sl] Virtual Worlds go to Congress 

Earlier today, the 110th Congress Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing entitled Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, conducted the first ever Congressional hearing simulcast in an Internet-based virtual world today. The hearing addressed the evolution, culture and future of virtual worlds such as Second Life, Zwinky and There which are part of a new form of communication that has exploded over the last few years.

Congratulations to all those who presented:

Philip Rosedale

Founder and CEO Linden Lab

Susan Tenby
Senior Manager, Community Development of TechSoup

Larry Johnson, Ph.D.
CEO of The New Media Consortium (NMC)

Colin J. Parris, Ph.D.
Vice President, Digital Convergence of IBM Research

During Susan's testimony she gave a brief shout-out to GK and explained some of the unique educational experiences virtual world spaces offer.

[tsl] Special Guests Visit GK Island to Present About Service Learning 

This past week, we were joined on Global Kids Island by Jim Kielsmeier, Founder and CEO of National Youth Leadership Council, along with Amy Cohen, Director of Learn & Serve America. Amy and Jim came in to give a panel about service learning, a unique form off community involvement that both advocates and helps make change in communities while also integrating practical learning for the young people that take part in it.

Amy and Jim w/Rafi moderating
Amy and Jim, with Rafi moderating

[conf] AERA: Learning, Meaning, and Civic Engagement in the Digital Age 

The following is our recording of one of the many AERA panels held this week in NYC, this one specifically on:

Learning, Meaning, and Civic Engagement in the Digital Age:

The MacArthur Digital Media Initiative

  • Participant: Henry Jenkins (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Participant: Howard E. Gardner (Harvard University)
  • Participant: James Paul Gee (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Participant: Nichole D. Pinkard (The University of Chicago)
  • Chair: Constance Yowell (J.D. & C.T. MacArthur Foundation)

powered by ODEO
Download audio here.

[hsgc] Student Scientists Take Over the Island! 

Our student scientists have arrived! After learning about their own Carbon Footprints, they have formed teams and are busy displaying their data by modifying team houses and other objects. Students are even sneaking on after class to get in a little more building time! Sometimes, it can be tough to make team decisions, but these guys are doing a great job. As each research team faces new challenges and adventures, they'll be taking that new knowledge and applying it as they make new choices and decisions about their homes.

What's next for our Citizen Scientists? Well.. I won't give it all away.. but let's just say that they may need their passports!

[Conf] "From Myspace to Hip Hop: New Media In the Everyday Lives of Youth" 

The upcoming public forum, "From Myspace to Hip Hop: New Media In the Everyday Lives of Youth," will address how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life, presented by Common Sense Media, the MacArthur Foundation and the Stanford University School of Education.

If you can not attend this event in person, Global Kids will be streaming it live at this Web location as well as within the virtual world Second Life.

When: April 23rd, 2008
Time: 4:30pm-8:15pm
Where: The Hewlett Teaching Center,
Building 200
370 Serra Mall
Stanford California

Registration: 4:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Reception: 7:30-8:15 p.m.
Registration is FREE but space is limited. Register by: April 18th

Research Presenters:

Danah Boyd - University of Berkeley.
Teen Socialization Practices in Networked Publics.

Heather Horst - University of California Berkeley
Understanding New Media in the Home

Dilan Mahendran -University of California Berkeley
Hip Hop Music and Meaning in the Digital Age

[vvp/teen] Kofi Annan accepts MacArthur's International Justice Award 

Last Thursday, four VVP participants, and myself, had the extraordinary opportunity to see Kofi Annan accept the MacArthur Foundation's International Justice Award. This event was held at the gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The event started off with a panel of experts speaking on international law and justice. There were so many people at the event that we had to go to the overflow room to watch a live stream of the panel. I thought the panel was great because the speakers were experts in their areas and also they left time to take questions. In the overflow room, they handed out index cards for us to write our questions down. In the other room, they had a microphone on both sides for people to come up and present their questions.

After the panel, everyone from VVP was sitting outside of the overflow room, when we saw Ishmael Beah! Well, I was too afraid to go up to him and say hello, well it was more like…there was no way I could gather all my thoughts in time to figure out what to say anyway! So yes, when he looked our way and smiled and waved hello at us, I just sat there and smiled back. Anyway, I guess this will be fun to look back on.

Between the panel and the dinner, we had some time to just look around the hotel and take pictures together. It was pretty fun going around the hotel, especially since it's such a beautiful place.