[Staff] OLP March Staff Reflections 

Turning to the adage "better late than never", the OLP’s staff reflections for March are finally up!

A quick overview of what OLP thought about for this month: Rik talks about his trip to DC and how new digital media and online audiences need to be taken into account, Krista discusses her time at various conferences she attended this month, Shawna relays her debate about pedagogical ideas and student voice and Barry reflects on his participation with a design charette held at the New School in NYC.

[Digital Advisory] Global Kids' Advisory on Digital Media 

As we've grown here at the Global Kids Online Leadership Program, we've had incredible opportunities open up to us to do new work and connect with more youth. With that though, has come questions and challenges about how best to do our work and achieve our goals. In an effort to garner the expertise of some of the wonderful people that we've connected with in related fields over the years, we've put together the Global Kids Advisory on Digital Media.

The Advisory is comprised of a group of individuals from diverse sectors who will advise GK in utilizing new media and technology to educate young people about global issues and engage them in civic affairs. The Advisory is working with OLP to strengthen our resources and development so that we can address long-term challenges and goals. We're incredibly excited and thankful to have such a great group of individuals working with us. You can read about each of the members below.

[P4K] Global Kids main grid launch of Teen produced game CONSENT! 

CONSENT! Game pics

Join Global Kids this week, Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 2:00 - 4:00 PM (EST), 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (SLT) in the Clemson Teaching Learning, (173, 212, 26) sim for the Second Life main grid opening of the game CONSENT! We will be holding tours of the game, discussing the TSL project & holding question & answer segments throughout.

IM Rhiannon Chatnoir for a teleport during the Second Life event.

CONSENT! is a first person, simulation game based on Harriet A. Washington's book "Medical Apartheid" (www.medicalapartheid.com) in which your avatar assumes the role of an African-American prisoner who has to make tough decisions about whether to choose to 'consent' and submit to medical experiments, which took place during the time period of the 1940s to the present.

[conf/teen] GK Leader Reflects On The National Service-Learning Conference 

Janet Nabila, a GK leader in the Virtual Video Project, reflects on her experience at NYLC's National Service-Learning Conference in Nashville, TN.

Day One: Arriving in Nashville
Nashville isn’t what I expected it to be. I thought it would look like a farmer’s property or some form of barren wasteland. (Honestly, would you ever go to TENNESSEE for vacation?) I was shocked to see that I was wrong, and that Nashville was totally cool. The city is super ultra clean. Downtown Nashville has everything (significant sites, of course) in walking distance of each other. Although it emphasizes barbecue (yuck!) the cuisine was great. There are sandwiches here that are completely squished together! Anyway, the first day we arrived, Shawna and I did nothing but walk around. Although I was completely taken over by exhaustion by the end of the day, it was worth it. We went to see the Nashville Convention Center, the famous Rymen Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

[mm/teen] Serious Gaming 

I just played this game called Profit Seed. This game represents the controversy between farmers, GM and Monsanto for their genetically modified seeds that are infecting the farmers crops. The game represented information about the issue by discussing it on the different boards as well as using the game itself as an infomercial.

I used "play" in the game by learning the controls and figuring out the goal of the game in order to succeed. Once I figured out the goal, it was pretty easy to beat the game.

The game's point of view is that genetically modified seeds are wrong. In other words, what GM and Monsanto are doing is going against the balance of nature and that it shouldn't be continued.

Games are different from a news article because instead of just reading a piece of paper, you get to put yourself into the position of the person that situation is directed towards. You get to experience what they're going through rather than thinking about it.

[mm/teen] Representation, Play and Credibility 

Well hello again. Today I'm logging about play, representation and credablity as said in the heading.

Another project from Media Master, we were to choose one of five games to play and then blog about how this affected our thoughts on the main topic of the game.

I chose Darfur is Dying, which is a very depressing game about the issues people in Darfur go through daily. Four of my 'children' were taken by militia while forraging for water before I decided to call it quits.

In Darfur there is a lack of food and water and that affects the survival rate of the people there, not to mention that te government and the military seem to be currupt and ed upraping the girls before beating them as well as the boys to death.

To be honest I was caught when ever I tried to get water so I did not win at any aspect of this game but my experimetation with the characters led to me getting closer and closer to winning every time. This is because I decided to 'run' and 'hide' in the direction that the game said wa sclosest to the water.

I believe that the game was trying to give more of an impression of political uprest and a need for help not only politicall but economically and agriculturally as well.

Last Saturday I had the honor of presenting at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference about the work of Global Kids and some of the lessons we have been learning about how to best use virtual worlds for education and learning. The multi-day conference took place in Second Life, appropriately enough given the hundreds of educational projects going on in that platform, but was meant to more broadly cover "educational best practices" from virtual environments writ large.

The title of my presentation was "'Aha!' Moments from Global Kids and RezEd.org." In brief, I talked about how Global Kids and our social network for virtual educators RezEd.org have approached the idea of "best practices" in education and then presented five recent lessons that we've learned about virtual education. You can watch video of my presentation from the new Treet.TV website.

Apply for the GK 2009 Summer Institute 

GK 2009 Summer Institute Application

This year the U.S. in the World: Int'l Law and Foreign Policy Program will take place from July 13th -31st at the Council on Foreign Relations. I've attached the program brochure along with the application packet.

Students eligible to apply should be rising juniors and seniors in 2009-2010 (i.e. current sophomors and juniors).

  • Download informational flyer here.
  • Download Summer Institute application here.

All documents, including application, can also be accessed at: www.globalkids.org/?id=52

For more information on U.S. in the World: International Law and U.S. Foreign Policy, please contact Eddie Mandhry at Global Kids at (212) 226-0130 or usintheworld@globalkids.org.

[mm/teen] Bitstrips comic 

Click for full size.

This is a comic that I made about cultural mis-steps. I made it about the etiquette in Japan. In this comic strip, I have a foreign person that is late to a business meeting and his boss is angry with him. In Japan, being late to work, school, and any other type of activity is considered very rude. So coming early is a daily norm for the Japanese people. In my opinion, negotiation is a very important skill because when it comes to negotiating, you can work out compromises or bargains with others.
People should spend time getting better at negotiation because a lot of the situations that turn violent in today's society could be solved with that skill alone. It benefits both sides of the problem. If we don't get better at negotiation, then there will be a lot more problems that will end badly for society. Learning to get better at negotiation will help improve our adaptation to different cultures and norms.

National Service-Learning Conference in Second Life
Tomorrow, March 20, Global Kids will be streaming from (and participating in) the National Service-Learning Conference in Nashville, TN for the third straight year. The conference is an inspiring gathering of over 2,700 students, teachers, youth-workers and volunteers focused on service learning. For more info on the conference, please see the conference website.

For those who can't make it to Nashville, Global Kids will be streaming several sessions from the NSLC live to the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater (click here to teleport ).

The complete schedule is as follows: