Fireside Workshop: Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of the Bomb

For our first Fireside Workshop of December, we focused in on the issue of nuclear proliferation and what it means vis-a-vis international politics and multilateral treaties like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

We started off first by playing a game that illustrated the flaws in an international system that is not transparent in regards to nuclear weapons, and then went on to break into teams, each of which received a different real life nuclear scenario which laid out the time lines and issues related to situations actually occurring right now in the world. Each team was then given time to come up with policy recommendations about how they believed their nuclear scenario should be dealt with.

[vvp/teen] Billboards! 

Well last Thursday everyone learned how to make a billboard in Second Life! It was great seeing everyone gather the picture that they found last time and then upload it into Second Life and then use it on a prim to make a poster/billboard! I think this is the first experience many of them had building in SL, so it was interesting. I think they enjoyed it too!

After making the billboard, we went into Second Life and took a picture of our avatars next to the billboard. Overall, we did not face that many technical difficulties, we had some...but it was not horrible. We also a guest, Erin, who was sitting in to observe our work. It was great to see her take notes. She also asked me an interesting question about whether or not I considered the copyright on the images before uploading it into TSL.

[p4k/Teen] not as expected 

P4K is not what I expected it to be. At 1st i didn't know that it had to deal with global issues but now i understand. For example when we did all the games that we did it was not just fun but also educational as well, and although i didn't know what some issues were I learned eventually. Today was one of the most important days. We had to pick the subject that the game is going to be about which by the way was Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. Many kids had ideas and me also and I also cant wait till we finish and hope that our game that we will work hard on will be played on X-box live which is all i have to say. Well I really hope that it's a game that people will play very often and also educates people and learned about the problems and try to make our world a safe environment to live in. THE END.

[p4k/Teen] momo' s Katrina story 

Playing 4 keeps teaches us about all the things we forget in the world. This shows us how lucky we are to be living in New York. This is a club for the people who desire to shout their feelings out to the world. Today in the Club we spoke about war and hurricane Katrina. We spoke about how they both affect each other. We watched a video name ''The Saints Are Coming'' and this tells us about what could have happened if the war wasn't going on right now. They could save the people from the damage of hurricane Katrina. There could be helicopters delivering food for people and trying to seal up the dam. Money matters at this point because of the disasters that happen now.

The Totally Wired: How Technology is Changing Kids and Learning public forum, featured panelists Henry Jenkins, Katie Salen & Howard Gardner, was held Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm EST, at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Hosted by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to celebrate the publication of the MacArthur Series on Digital Media and Learning. The panel was introduced by Jonathan Fanton, MacArthur President, and moderated by Connie Yowell, MacArthur's Director of Education.


This event was streamed live into the virtual world of Second Life on the main grid at the University of Southern California's Annenberg sim and within the teen grid on the Global Kids island. Below you can watch the video from the live event (we apologize in advance for a few microphone glitches):

The six MacArthur volumes of their Series on Digital Media and Learning are now available, and the DOZENS of chapters are each available, for free, for download. Go MacArthur and MIT press! The Global Kids Leaders in the Digital Media Youth Advisory contributed to the process by providing inspiration through essays and other media, helping to vet the initial abstracts, running an hour-long workshop on youth voices for all of the editors and authors, and doing research on specific topics for a number of the authors.

Info on all six volumes: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/dmal

Download Barry's chapter: Why Johnny Can't Fly: Treating Games as a Form of Youth Media Within a Youth Development Framework

An abstract of his chapter follows:

Jonathan Fanton, the President of the MacArthur Foundation, announced yesterday their creation of the MacArthur Award for International Justice, as well as its first recipient: Kofi Annan. The new award provides Annan with $100,000 for his own work and invites him to suggest an additional $500,000 in support for an eligible non-profit organization working on international justice issues.

The award ceremony will take place in March and will be simulcast on the Web and in Second Life by Global Kids, in partnership with the University of Southern California, as part of MacArthur's year exploring the role of philanthropy within virtual worlds.

From: "The Case for an International System of Justice," Remarks by Jonathan Fanton at the National Press Club, Washington, December 10, 2007

[Staff] November Staff Reflections 

“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way,” is it to early for Christmas songs? This month the O.L.P. gang is in a festive mood, partly because of the upcoming holiday season, and partly because the fruits of their hard labor are starting to produce enthusiastic students who are keen about digital media, a solid and happy O.L.P. staff, and lots of recognition for their influencing principals of digital media and youth education.

Many of the Online Leadership Program blog posts still resonated the spirit of thanksgiving in this month’s staff reflection, though they had already digested their turkey or tofukey from Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy reading our blog!

Virtual Education: Access and Impact

Waveriding Into the Future

Play Money

Giving Thanks

My Thanksgiving Staff Reflection

[dmi] Education Week Article Features Global Kids 

An excellent overview of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative is now available from Education Week (both in print and online). Global Kids machinima program is mentioned, as are overviews of a number of other projects. As MacArthur is now officially a year into the project, it offers an excellent check-in.

Projects Probe New Media's Role in Changing the Face of Learning

By Andrew Trotter

Published Online: November 30, 2007

Published in Print: December 5, 2007

Online multiplayer games that immerse teenagers in scientific challenges and social networks designed to spark their creativity are among a range of research-and development projects that the MacArthur Foundation has backed since it launched its its digital-learning initiative a year ago.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation committed $50 million in October of last year to a five-year initiative to understand how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. ("Funder Seeding Work in the Emerging Field of 'Digital Learning,' " Nov. 15, 2006.)

[Conf] Totally Wired: How Technology is Changing Kids and Learning 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm EST

Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138


A PUBLIC FORUM on how digital media is changing how young people learn and play, featuring:

Henry Jenkins, Professor, MIT, and author of Convergence Culture, will talk about his latest work on media literacy and skills young people need for the 21st Century.

Katie Salen, Professor, Parsons the New School for Design, and game designer, will discuss the new public school based on design and games she is opening in New York City.

Howard Gardner, Professor, Harvard University, and author of Five Minds for the Future, will talk about the ethical implications of growing up online.

A reception will follow:
Upstairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA 02135