Staffing the Virtual World 

After almost two years staffing Global Kids work in Second Life, MacArthur Foundation provided us with a platform to reflect on the unique challenges and how things have changed. Read Barry's insightful article below or directly on MacArthur's Spotlight blog here.

Please check it out and post your own experiences and/or solutions to the challenges we all face. Also, to view the open job positions we have listed go here.

Barry Joseph: Staffing the Virtual World

Global Kids’ Director of Online Leadership asks: “How do you hire staff for a medium that most do not know even exists?”

While virtual worlds like Second Life are gaining increased attention - e.g. its virtual appearance this month within episodes of both television shows Law & Order and CSI - most Americans have yet to learn about virtual worlds, let alone work with one.

[P4K] Vote for Why Games Matter! 

The Ashoka's Changemakers website is holding a vote for Why Games Matter: A Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care and Ayiti: The Cost of Life is one of the finalists! Voting goes til November 7th, so make sure to cast yours.

Help select the top three entries that work to improve health and health care. The three entries that receive the most votes will each receive US $5,000. All finalists will attend the Changemakers Change Summit at the RWJF-sponsored Games for Health Conference in May 2008.

Read more about the competition and vote here.

[P4K] Afi French discusses the Playing for Keeps program 

Below are two video's of former GK Staff member, Afi French, discussing the Playing 4 Keeps program.

[blog] Analysis of Ayiti: The Cost of LIfe 

A recent blog entry from Play This Thing offers up one of the sharpest analysis yet of the political messages with the game mechanics of Ayiti.

"Cost Of Life is one of the best political web games released in 2006... I'm not sure which was more compelling, the later feelings of success as I worked that dominant strategy, or the early feelings of anguished sympathy as these people helplessly struggled with no way out.

And a powerful comment in response to the blog is also worth noting:

"Because the immersion elements are done well - you tend to like the family members, they are clearly upbeat people who are working like dogs - the game subtly combats the ever more entrenched (American) idea that poverty is always the "fault" of the impoverished."

Read the post and comments here.

[media] New York Regional Association of Grantmakers profiles Global Kids 

Global Kids was profiled in the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers' publication Voices from the Front Line: Profiles of Our Nonprofit Partners, which spotlights an exemplary grantee of NYRAG members each month. This is very exciting, and we are grateful to Brigitte Schmid of the Third Millennium Foundation for nominating us. The profile can also be viewed on NYRAG's web site at nyrag.org.

[sl/intern/teen] Ishmael Beah & My 1st Event! 

“You have to find hope in hopelessness itself…the human spirit is enormously strong,” were the final words I heard from Ishmael Beah as I exited Second Life. Although he related it to the war in Sierra Leone and his missing family, it is a powerful statement that we can all relate to and incorporate into our own lives. Unfortunately, I could not stay to hear the various questions people had for Ishmael, but I did have wonderful help from fellow TSL residents who filled me in on the questions presented to him and his elegant responses. I am getting a little ahead of myself though, but I just wanted to begin with that quote because it really left a wonderful and lasting memory.

[conf] What Are Kids Learning in Virtual Worlds? 

Global Kids will be taking part in an upcoming MacArthur sponsored event entitled "what are Kids Learning in Virtual Worlds?" The event is open for anyone to attend and details are below. See you there!

What are kids learning in Virtual Worlds? The Wonders and the Worries

Club Penguin, Whyville, The Sims, Second Life.
You've heard these names, what do they mean for kids?
Hear from a panel of experts as they discuss:

Wednesday, November 14th, 6:00 p.m.
Davidson Conference Center, University of Southern California
3415 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California

  • What are kids really doing in virtual worlds?
  • How are they learning?
  • What does this mean for parents and educators?

November 14th, 2007
5:30 p.m. Registration
6:00-7:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
7:00-8:00 p.m. Reception and Tour of Virtual Worlds

[jobs] Global Kids' Choose-Your-Own-Job-Description 


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 number of positions within its Online Leadership Program (OLP).

The OLP, amongst other things, is on the cutting-edge developing best practices in the use of virtual worlds for supporting global youth leadership. It has grown in 2007 from three full time to fourteen employees.

We are currently looking to hire three to four people. However, each position contains more than one area of responsibility, all of which can be mixed-and-matched. And who are WE to tell YOU the best combination? Instead. we are looking to YOU to tell US the best combination of responsibilities to meet your strengths and interests.

There are eleven possible combinations, each with is own job description. Some are full time, some are part-time, and one is as a consultant. Some require work in our NYC office while others can be performed remotely. These details are described within each job description.

[didi] The D.I.D.I. Launch Party 

Last night marked the exciting beginning of the D.I.D.I. Initiative on the Teen Grid of Second Life.
After a brief presentation detailing the Dream it. Do it. Initiative and the staff that will be involved, youth and staff broke in the new DIDI Clubhouse with some dancing and afterwards headed over to the lake for some after party fun in the water! Throughout the party, teens started to sign up for the D.I.D.I. Workshops which will be taking place throughout the week of Oct. 22.

For any teens unable to make the party, there is still plenty of time to get involved!
We are going to begin workshops next Monday & workshop sign ups will be taking place all week in the South East corner of DIDI Island. Just click on the workshop stone that best fits your schedule. If you click the wrong one, just click on it a second time to remove your name from the list.

At the workshops, teens can find out how the D.I.D.I. Initiative can support teens to start their own ventures. A "venture" can be a club, organization, business, or program that is ongoing (i.e. not a one-time event) and benefits one's community in some way.

GK Fireside Poster
Thanks to Dion Zabelin for creating this great poster!

As part of GK's TSL Internship Program, we'll be running the affectionately titled "Fireside Workshops" twice a month by the camp fire on GK Island. These global issues oriented workshops are modeled off of our face-to-face afterschool workshops that we've been conducting for 17 years in New York City public schools, but we get to add fun Second Life twists to these activities that are already interactive.

For our first workshop, we created a take on the classic workshop originally developed by Bill Bigelow in his book Rethinking Schools. It's called The Race to the Bottom, also known as The Transnational Capitol Auction (but try getting TSL residents to something with that name...)

More details and photos after the jump.