Global Kids at the 7th Annual Games for Change Festival May 24-27 

From May 24 - 27 is the seventh annual Games for Change Festival happening at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City (and partly at NYU.) This is THE gathering for gamemakers, nonprofits, educators and academics interested in serious games, games-based learning and educational gaming. And Global Kids is going to be present in a few different capacities.

On May 24, at 2:45pm, Global Kids will be organizing a panel on "Spreading Serious Game Design: Global Kids' Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program" about our ground-breaking serious game design program Playing for Keeps.

Then on May 25th, several Global Kids teen leaders will be on-hand to conduct a series of video interviews with gamemakers as part of the new Playing for Keeps Online Curriculum. (If you are interested in being interviewed at G4C, contact rafi@globalkids.org.)

Finally on May 26, at 4:30pm, OLP Director Barry Joseph will be speaking on "Power of Design - Youth Created Games" Panel.

There are many more fantastic sessions, speakers, demos and networking that happens during the festival. It's not too late to register online.

The Amazing Interface at the Eldridge Street Synagogue

Since 2001 I have worked at Global Kids thinking about supporting youth to leverage the informal learning they acquire through digital game play. Throughout the years I have had the honor of working with many of the key academics and researchers advocating for games-based learning. One of the key skills I have developed, and which we now try to support other educators to develop, is the ability to know games-based literacies when they see them because, if we can’t see it, we can’t support their development.


These past six months, my son, Akiva, who turns four next week, has introduced digital gaming into his life. He does not play digital media at school, nor with his friends. At home, I am the primary person who introduces and plays digital games with him. As a result, I have had the unique opportunity to watch him clearly develop his own games-based literacies.


Talking about Alternative Assessment 


Alternative assessment is the focus of Barry Joseph's article in the Spring 2010 edition of the HaYidion: The Ravsak Journal. In this article, Barry discusses how we here at Global Kids view and work with alternative assessment models and the importance of considering these new models.

Check out Barry's article here.

A piece in "The World is Open" 

In Curtis Bonk's "The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education," he writes about how web technology is being used within educational settings. Within this, in the chapter entitled "Who Are You? Alternative Reality Learning", he mentions Global Kids and our innovative work with teens in Second Life.

Check out the excerpt that talks about Global Kids [pages 285 - 287] here!

Being Interviewed by Skype for HBO Special 

A funny thing happened today. Global Kids is consulting on this exciting project for HBO, slated for Valentine's Day, 2011, about people meeting online. Somehow, through the consulting process, I became the expert on the cultural response to the introduction of the telephone. My interview today for the project then spun off in a wide range of directions, and was a lot of fun. But of great interest to me was the process - they interviewed me by Skype (the image below shows what they saw), while I recorded the video on my end of them interviewing me, and my colleague Rik filmed me filming them filming me. Phew! Let's see if any of this even makes it into the final show.


Videos from Roundtable on Virtual Worlds & Nonprofits 

On April 12, we had a fantastic Winter 2010 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on MacArthur Island in Second Life. Representatives of five nonprofit organizations gave brief presentations on their initial explorations of Second Life and other virtual worlds, and how they are thinking of integrating these virtual tools into their organizations' respective missions.

We've made available videos of the presentations, which you can see at these links

  • Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia
  • United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc
  • Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
  • V.O.I.C.E. Community Development Corp

    Each of these organizations completed the Global Kids' Virtual World Capacity Building Program, a four-week intensive exposure to virtual worlds for public good institutions.

  • Do you have what it takes to level up? 

    Don't just play games - design them, in Global Kids' new serious game design boot camp: Level Up!

    Designed for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, this week-long summer intensive will train you in basic game design, global literacy, and how to combine the two into a serious game design addressing a critical social issue. It will run from July 26th - 30th, running from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, with a discount for those who register before July 1st.

    Throughout the process youth will create smaller games both on
    and offline, on your own and with your peers, while meeting professional game designers in the field and in universities.

    So sign-up now and find out if you've got what it takes... to level up!

    Using a Virtual World to Protect Earth's Oceans: A Proposal 

    Global Kids is excited to be included as a partner with the virtual world KidsCom.com and the Tech Museum of San Jose in a proposal to create a program called "Collections of Collaboration: Protecting Oceans Using the Virtual World to Understand the Real World". This proposal is a finalist in the HASTAC and MacArthur Foundation sponsored Digital Media and Learning Competition 2010.

    Good Luck to Finalists in Digital Media & Learning Competition! 

    HASTAC and the MacArthur Foundation earlier this year launched the third year of the Digital Media and Learning Competition. The 2010 Digital Media and Learning Competition challenges designers, entrepreneurs, practitioners, researchers, and young people to put participatory learning to work on behalf of science, technology, engineering, math and their social contexts in the 21st century.

    We are excited to see that several organizations we've worked with are finalists, and are finishing up their supplemental budgets and videos today! Feel free to check out their entries, comment and make suggestions:

    Event: an Evening to Re-Imagine Learning in the 21st Century 

    Join us at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 17, 2010, for a discussion, project demonstrations, and reception about the future of learning.

    This MacArthur Foundation public forum will take place in NYC and feature work by the New Youth City Learning Network, including Global Kids collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.

    The New Youth City Learning Network is a collaboration of New York City institutions such as the New York Public Library, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and New York Hall of Science working together to create a set of formal and informal learning opportunities that begin with personal interests, connect via digital media, and lead to educational outcomes.

    If you are interested in learning more about this emerging space that Global Kids has increasingly been supporting and gaining inspiration from - how digital media is changing learning - or just want to support Global Kids youth leaders who will be there to show their work.

    To view more details and to RSVP click here and join us! It's free and, as always, it promises to be stimulating.