No Resumes, Please (UPDATE: Positions Filled!) 

At Global Kids, in our current job hiring process, we’ve replaced that old adage, “It's not what you know, but who you know,” with “It’s now what you know, but how you came to know it.” It’s a radical shift in our practices we felt it was appropriate to say a little about why we took this giant leap.

Four and a half years ago, we hired a job applicant who had the audacity, or foresight, to submit a personal blog entry as his writing sample. Writing samples are requested to assess the writing and analytic abilities of an applicant. Traditional submissions are created through some formalized process, most often a school paper or something produced in a work environment. They represent an example of something assessed within a formalized school or work environment. So what’s a blog entry doing in that context, something personal as opposed to professional, directed towards an informal audience of one’s peers as opposed to the lines of knowledge authority within a formal learning or work system?

GK Supports High School Teachers to Incorporate Games-Based Learning 

"This project has pushed me off the diving board straight into the pool. Fortunately, the pool was not shark-infested. It was full of eager 7th graders who are non-judgmental of a teacher who tells them that we will be working on game design for the entire semester but teacher dearest does not like to play games, has not played many games in her lifetime, and really does not plan on playing games much. How this was going to work was a mystery to me. I was anxious to have workshops with Global Kids because I knew I was out of my element."

Read more about what happened when six New York City high school teachers, coordinated by the National Writing Project, sought assistance from Global Kids to bring their own designs for games-based learning into their classrooms.

Paul Allison, technology liaison at the New York City Writing Project, coordinated this demonstration project and wrote the following overview, which we are delighted to now be able to share with you.

game development program offers opportunities youth development 

The UK Based Learning and Teaching focused site, Becta, recently published a best practices case study about Global Kids' Playing 4 Keeps program.

Recognising that games are a form of ‘youth media’ Global Kids recognised game design can be a vehicle for engaging children in addressing critical world issues. As such they have developed a number of programmes, such as Playing For Keeps (P4K), which which pairs Global Kids youth leaders with game developers to produce web-based games. The P4K programme trains urban students to think critically about game design and develop games about important world issues. These games include:

  • Ayiti: The Cost of Life - a role play game which looks at Haitian poverty (www.costoflife.org)
  • Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City – a game which looks at the effect of Hurricane Katrina
  • CONSENT! A virtual-world based game within Second Life about the history of medical racism against African American prisoners since WWII.

You can find the full case study on the Becta website.


Recommended reading, watching, listening 

The latest Recommended reading, watching, listening post is up on DMLcentral and we are sharing it by crossposting it here as well.

At the top of this month's list is an amazing music video,"Virtual Love" by Legrand. A collaboration among 20 Japanese students at Temple University in Tokyo and Philadelphia based on hip hop artist Legrand, the music video integrates a variety of social media and simple desktop applications into one seemingly seamless computer screen capture. So clever and interesting. As so much of our work at Global Kids uses digital media to connect people in different places, it is always exciting to see examples of people pushing the envelope

You can read the rest after the jump or here.

mygameIQ: distribution system for the serious games industry 

If you haven't heard the news about mygameIQ, it is a distribution platform for educational, serious and independent games.

With its roots firmly established in the Serious Games industry, Pragmatic has decided to create a distribution platform that would focus on the Serious and Educational Games markets, as well as on the burgeoning Independent Game Developers segment.

Pragmatic's insight was that the somewhat untapped and often overlooked Serious Games market, which some estimate to the value of $2 billion annually, is not being given the credit it deserves by traditional AAA gaming audience.

I Dig Brazil Recruitment Flyer 

I Dig Brazil FlyerOur friends at the Field Museum shared with us this cute recruitment flyer for our Fall program "I Dig Brazil" that we are running with them.

I Dig Brazil is an innovative digital learning program geared toward teaching about science -- specifically paleontology and biology -- and critical global issues -- such as climate change, biodiversity, and cultural preservation -- using an immersive 3D virtual environment and a web-based e-learning platform. The program will involve a group of New York high schoolers working virtually with another group of teens at the Field Museum in Chicago to complete various online and offline activities. The focus will be on Brazil, coinciding with a Field Museum-sponsored scientific expedition to that country searching for ancient fossils.

I Dig Brazil builds upon two years of experience conducting other "I Dig Science" virtual camps: the first in 2008 called "I Dig Tanzania" and the second in 2009 called "I Dig Zambia."

We'll be posting more info soon as we get closer to launching I Dig Brazil!

Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits July 2010
You are cordially invited to "Creating A Better World, " a Global Kids' Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on Tuesday July 20, 2010. The event will take place from 12-1pm PST at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater in the virtual world of Second Life (teleport link). Representatives of six nonprofit organizations will give 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. Afterwards, there will be an open discussion about the applications of virtual worlds for various public good purposes.

The event is open to the public, with a special welcome to nonprofits, activists, educators, and developers.

Meeting of the Minds: Youth, Social Media and Education 

What is really going on with youth and social media? Are there benefits—educational and life-long—to young people's use of social media? Find out in this discussion featuring danah boyd, social media researcher and guru, and a panel of experts, as they discuss how social media, technology, and education interact and enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.

Reactor panel:

  • Barry Joseph, Director Online Leadership Program, Global Kids
  • Jessica Hochman, Assistant Professor, LMS, Coordinator, Pratt School of Library and Information Science
  • Linda W. Braun, Educational Technology Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Program Facilitator: Jack Martin, Assistant Director of Public Programs / Lifelong Learning, The New York Public Library

Playing for Keeps Summer Camp Begins! 

P4K summer camp 1st session
Building upon the Playing for Keeps Video Program that took place this past Spring, today the Playing for Keeps Summer Camp began. For the next two-weeks, a group of Global Kids teen leaders will be working with GK trainers Krista and David to be the "beta testers" of our new online serious gaming curriculum. The teens will go through the curriculum, critique it along the way, and help make videos on social issues that will get incorporated into the final online curriculum.

Despite some technical difficulties with our internet connection, the teens seemed really excited about doing the program, playing games, and making videos with each other. Our intern Quiniese will be posting to this blog her own experiences as a participant in the program. So stay tuned!

Global Kids is developing this online serious gaming curriculum on behalf of our friends at Mouse.

Global Kids' OLP is Hiring (UPDATE: Positions Have Been Filled!) 

Global Kids, Inc., a New York City based non-profit organization dedicated to transforming urban youth into successful students and global and community leaders, is seeking to fill a full-time staff position as Online Leadership Program Associate.

The associate will join GK's Online Leadership Program (OLP) in New York City, where the position will be based. GK is on the cutting-edge developing best practices in the use of digital media for supporting global youth leadership. Recent projects have focused on digital media like serious gaming, virtual worlds, social media, and mobile technology, with subjects like child sex trafficking, global human rights abuses, and genocide. In addition to our youth-facing work, OLP works to build capacity of other youth-serving educators and institutions, and contributing to the field of digital media and learning. We are regularly invited to offer workshops, keynote conferences, and write reports and articles. To get a sense of what it's like to work at Global Kids, read the recent post by one of our departing team members.

<em>UPDATE August 19, 2010: The position openings have been filled at this time. Thank you to everyone for your interest in our work.]