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[conference] GK Presents at the NECC Conference via Second Life 

This past Monday, Barry Joseph presented at the annual NECC conference in Georgia. That alone is great, but he did it while being in New York city! The panel entitled "What is a Global Citizen? Defining Global Literacy in the 21st Century" was one of many at this year's conference that spotlights learning and leading with technology.

NECC Conference presentation

The plan was to do a remote presentation in the same vein as what Barry had done for the NTEN conference. This didn't quite work out as planned though since there wasn't enough tech support on hand. But, we still showed a PowerPoint presentation and Barry was able to speak through Skype about Global Kids and our online work. Plus a video was shown within Second Life about GK's work.

As Second Life becomes increasingly popular as an innovative learning and teaching platform, educators are asking for a curriculum they and their students can use to quickly acquire needed skills.

Following a successful pilot program this past Spring, Global Kids is pleased to announce their Second Life Professional Development Curriculum is scheduled for completion mid-September 2007!

Currently, feedback from students and teachers in the pilot program is being integrated. In addition, volunteer teens and educators (all very new to Second Life) are preparing to try out new lessons.

As one tester commented, "I am a total SL newbie, and need all the help I can get." Another teacher from Australia adds, "One thing I can guarantee about my SL skills is that I don't currently have any. I am very much a newbie and it sounds like a great way for me to develop my own skills as well as explore the possibilities for my own students." In fact, currently, educator testers represent a number of countries from three continents. The Global Kids Second Life curriculum really is global!

Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer as we follow the experiences of our intrepid testers as they master Second Life skills and prepare to use them in their own innovative ways.

[sl] The Philip Rosedale/MacArthur Foundation Conversation 

To read the invitation about the Philanthropy in Virtual Worlds event, please go here.

One teen quote in particular, from, Anthony Pomeray, summed up the effect the event had on many who participated: "After hearing the conversation Philip had today, I just feel like I want to be part of something to help mankind."

In short, on Friday, June 22nd, from 8 - 10:30 SLT, teen residents were invited by Global Kids to host a live dance/listening/viewing party of Philip Rosedale in conversation with Jonathan Fanton, the president of the MacArthur Foundation, streamed from the main grid.

Barry Joseph, of Global Kids, and Jonathan Fanton, of the MacArthur Foundation
Barry Joseph, of Global Kids, and Jonathan Fanton, of the MacArthur Foundation

One location was Global Kids Island while a second was on Evolve, hosted by Ty Dejavu, who said "Gimme a woot phor philanthropy!!!"

[dmi] Report on FOCUS Dialogues Released 

In April of 2007, Global Kids held the first round of FOCUS: Teen Voices on Digital Media and Society, a series of online dialogues in which teens from around the globe gathered to discuss the effects that digital media had in their lives and in the world.

We're pleased to release an independent report on FOCUS which gives an overview of the project and its participants, and, most importantly, elucidates on the many themes which emerged from the youth voices in the dialogues.

Download the report.

Read the full archives of FOCUS.

[sl/teen] Intern Report - Professor James Paul Gee Talks on the Teen Grid 

James Paul Gee came to Global Kids Island to speak about different avatars, and the gaming universe. He tried on different avatars, and told us what he thought about them, and how it felt to play Second Life for the first time. Professor Gee said that he plays World of Warcraft and said he can’t bring his character over here, but in fact he can bring anything into Second Life. Some of his avatars included a Hydralisk, by 1000 Carlos, which you can see below.

He also wore a dragon by Sylver Bu, pictured here.

This has been the largest project I’ve taken on in Second Life since I joined almost two years ago in October of 2005. It was such a project that I couldn’t do it alone. I had to get help from Jay Clostermann and 1000 Carlos. Jay helped with getting people to join us, and with voting boxes, while 1000 Carlos built the brilliant structure the event was hosted in, as well as the spaceship.

[Press] Video games getting deeper 

A great piece was posted Friday in the Toronto Star, entitled Video Games Getting Deeper, featuring our recent teen panel at the Games for Change conference and spotlighted Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps program and our game Ayiti: The Cost of Life.

You can read the full article below or here.

Video games getting deeper

A new generation of games aims to help youth better understand the world

June 15, 2007

Jane L. Thompson
Special to the Star

New York–Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Need for Speed may consume the attention of millions of teenagers, but according to a U.S. high school valedictorian, gaming has sparked a new revolution where students are becoming smarter as a result of video games.

But Ciara Bell, 18, a graduate of McKinley High School in Washington, D.C., isn't talking about games where you shoot the driver of a car before you snatch it. She's referring to games like PeaceMaker, Darfur is Dying and Ayiti: The Cost of Life, some of the award-winners this week at the Games for Change Festival.

[SL] Invitation to Virtual World Event on Philanthropy 

An invitation to a virtual world event spotlighting philanthropy was announced by the MacArthur foundation Tuesday. Following is a post by the President of the Foundation, Mr. Jonathon Fanton.

Save the date (22 June, 9am PST) for an historic conversation on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds featuring MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton and Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale.

I write to invite you to join me in the virtual world of Second Life on Friday, June 22, 2007 at 9am PST (noon EST). With my avatar and a live audio feed, I will be joined by Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale and residents for a discussion on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds.

NEWS RELEASE

561 Broadway New York, NY 10012 www.globalkids.org 212-226-0130

Contacts:

Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116, Jonah@globalkids.org
Tom Mariam, Mariam Communications, 914-939-4294, tom@mariam.biz

For Immediate Release:

STUDENTS IN GLOBAL KIDS RECEIVE INAUGURAL AWARD AT THE ANNUAL GAMES FOR CHANGE FESTIVAL

At the fourth annual Games For Change Festival, held June 11-12 at the Parson’s New School of Design in New York City, Global Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating urban youth in international issues, won one of the first Games for Change ("GaCha") Awards for the best games for change made over the past few years. Global Kids's game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, created by students in Brooklyn in partnership with game development company, Gamelab, was awarded best awareness-raising game, for "the game that best raises awareness of an important social issue through engaging and meaningful gameplay."

[SL] GK Light Bulb System 

Lightbulb-anim.gif

The GK Light Bulb System is a great tool for moderating discussion in Second Life. You can easily see who's waiting for their turn to speak when the light bulb attachment above their head is turned on. The GK Light Bulb System Discussion Server (just one prim!) displays the chat queue, so everyone can see whose turn is next. With one click, it offers administrators a dialog box with buttons for removing specific names -- or all names -- from the speakers list. And it just takes a click for a wearer to turn off their own GK Light Bulb, if they change their mind and decide they don't want to speak. Adding administrators to the system is as simple as editing a notecard.

Lightbulb.jpg

GK Light Bulbs are distributed with both copy and transfer permissions, so you'll never run short of them, and the Discussion Server is transferable, so you can give it to someone else in your organization to use or lend it to a friend. But, at only L$ 1000, it's affordable enough to buy more
than one. Brought to you by The Magicians and Global Kids, the GK Light Bulb System is a fun way to manage group discussions AND engage participants.

[sl] Major GK Events at the Games For Change Confernce 

So much to report from the Games For Change conference in New York City!


Global Kids Wins Award

Global Kids was thrilled to be awarded one of the top game prizes of the conference, the GaCha award. The game from our Playing 4 Keeps program, Ayiti: The Cost of Life, was awarded the best Awareness-Raising Game. We couldn't be more pleased. We accepted the award with our students and folks from GameLab. Afi French gave a very moving acceptance speech that left quite a few in tears.

    Best Awareness-Raising Game - for the game that best raises awareness of an important social issue through engaging and meaningful gameplay coupled with innovative and successful distribution techniques towards a broad reach.

    Criteria: Is it a good game, with good game play and a solid integration of game mechanic and content? How did this game reach new audiences, find innovative distribution avenues, and ultimately raise awareness for a particular cause? Tips: These are often low budget games, made in a grass roots context, virally distributed.

Beth Kanter posted this photo of Lithelson holding the award:


Global Kids Coordinates Teen Panelists