You are cordially invited to Global Kids' Winter 2010 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on Monday April 12, from 12-1pm PST on MacArthur Island in 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.

Representatives of the following organizations will be presenting:

  • Child Welfare League of America
  • Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia
  • United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc
  • Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
  • Hip-Hop Education Center
  • V.O.I.C.E. Community Development Corp

Each of these organizations has just completed the Global Kids' Virtual World Capacity Building Program, a four-week intensive exposure to virtual worlds for public good institutions. The event will be moderated by Global Kids and take place at the MacArthur Island Amphitheater (click here to teleport.)


UNCFLogo I'm happy to announce that next Thursday, April 8, I will be speaking on a panel on digital media and learning at the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sponsored by the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the purpose of the forum is to "to look into what these new technologies mean for young people of color and the colleges they attend."

The UNCF Digital Media and Learning Public Forum series is to provide opportunities for students, educators, and experts in digital technology to discuss how youth, especially youth of color, use new digital media and social networking tools, and to spark interest among faculty and students at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions in conducting digital media research. The forum at Johnson C. Smith, the third forum of the series at UNCF member-HBCUs, will focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by young people and educators living in increasingly free-flowing digital cultures.

Global Kids invites you to our next professional development training on Thursday, April 15th on the topic of "Understanding Youth in the Digital Age."

How do you respond when your student friends you on Facebook? How can you formalize the learning that youth experience through digital media without losing the juice? How do you support a young person to act ethically online when those social spaces are so foreign? In this training, Global Kids will introduce you to cutting edge approaches to thinking about the digital generation in terms of how they learn, the ethical issues they face, and what it all means for your ability to reach youth.

All Global Kids trainings are offered at $75 per person with a discounted rate of $50 each for two sessions or more. Trainings take place from 9:00 am to 3.00 pm on the day indicated, at Global Kids' Center for Global Leadership, located at 137 East 25th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10010.

For more information or to register, please call 212-226-0130 or e-mail pdtrainings@globalkids.org.

From March 24-27, Global Kids teen leader Mayank and I got to travel to San Jose, California to participate in the National Service Learning Conference along with 2,000 other young people and educators from around the country.

Sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Council, the NSLC is a very impressively run annual gathering focused on supporting service learning in communities all over the United States. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about Global Kids to an interested audience of folks, and to learn from other groups doing similar work.

Mayank and my trip to San Jose did not start on the best foot. Our intended route was to fly to Denver from New York, and then change to another plane to fly to San Jose. Well unfortunately on the day of our departure, Denver got totally snowed in, so we got diverted to Minneapolis. We faced impossibly long lines, confusing information and rumors, and tired and cranky staff, in our attempt to get on some kind of flight that would eventually end in San Jose.

GK Teen Leader Mayank on the 2010 National Youth Leadership Conference 

Mayank NSLC
This is a report by Mayank, Global Kids teen leader, who participated in the National Youth Leadership Conference from March 24-27, 2010 in San Jose, California. Rik Panganiban, Assistant Director of OLP, co-faciliated the workshops with Mayank. The Conference, with participants from all over the United States, numbering up to approximately 2,500 attendees, is the largest gathering of youth and practitioners involved in service-learning.

There was no end to my excitement. We left New York with a lot of energy. But all the energy went down when we heard that our flight is being diverted to Minneapolis because of the bad weather in Denver.

Rethinking Religious Learning in the 21st Century 

I was in a fascinating meeting on Monday that forced me to think about a long-standing and substantive institutional learning environment, but one that doesn't easily fit within my existing framework.

During my first five years at Global Kids I became familiar with the after school learning environments, both within the school building and at community centers like Global Kids main office. In the years that followed I learned as well about what can be called informal learning environments - libraries, museums, etc. - as we as informal learning - e.g. youth playing console-based games or surfing the Web.

What we met Monday to discuss could only fit into "none of the above."

When I was a kid, growing up a Reform Jew on Long Island, we called it Sunday School - the few hours spent every Sunday at Temple in the extra building constructed to replicate a traditional school environment - classrooms with blackboard with a teacher's desk facing rows of seats. As I got older, it was called Hebrew School, as Tuesday afternoons were added to the mix.

lost boys of sudanOn Friday, March 26 at 9am, you can watch a virtual simulcast of three of the Lost Boys of Sudan, telling their amazing story of survival and hope for the people of Sudan.  They will be speaking from the National Service Learning Conference in San Jose, California, addressing a group of young people and educators there.  Meanwhile, people of all ages can watch their talk from the virtual world of SmallWorlds and the "Salam Project" website.

After their presentation, we will facilitate a question and answer question with them, including questions submitted from SmallWorlds.

Click here for instructions on connecting to the event in SmallWorlds.

Where else but virtual worlds can you come together with people from all over the world to talk directly with remarkable youth leaders like these three young men?

Here's the full description of the session after the jump....

This is a statement from the founder and executive director of Global Kids, Ms. Carole Artigiani:

On behalf of Global Kids, a twenty-year-old youth development organization based in New York City, I applaud Julius Genachowski, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, for his recent address on “Digital Opportunity: A Broadband Plan for Children and Families.” While there are reasons to be concerned, we agree with the Chairman that digital technology and online spaces present tremendous opportunities to educate young people, connect them with the wider world, and develop the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to be engaged citizens. We see internet access as a first step in educating and supporting the next generation as they prepare for life and work in the 21st century.

We agree that the FCC's priorities of digital access, digital literacy, digital citizenship and digital safety are a good framework for approaching a national broadband strategy that benefits young people. Global Kids, through our Online Leadership Program, is doing its part through innovative and cutting-edge programming in all of these areas:

[In the Media] Playing la vida Ludic 

Chris Collins, who writes about exploring the metaverse as her avatar Fleep Tuque, wrote a recent post bringing to light lots of new examples of how living and playing the ludic life is becoming ubiquitous.

When Game Devs Engineer the Real World – You Brushed Your Teeth, +5 points!

...Alas, I’m still waiting for virtual worlds to vindicate me, but having gone through this combo-pity-scorn routine a few times, I’m not shaken by the current state of attitudes about virtual worlds, augmented reality (why would you want to look at DATA on top of the REAL WORLD on your PHONE, what’s wrong with you?!), or most of the other technologies I use that cause people to look at me askance and with wary eyes. (Twitter???? Whaaa???)

She uses Barry Joseph's keynote from SLedCC 2008 as her jumping off point to make her point and even coins the term Ludic Luddites for those that do not yet accept the ludic life shift.

Update on Salam Project: 8,000 Plays of Sudan Mission in SmallWorlds! 

salam project SmallWorlds launch2
On Friday, February 12, Global Kids and the National Youth Leadership Council launched "The Salam Project," a month-long effort to support young people to learn about the conflict in Sudan and what they can do to promote peace there. The kick-off event took place in the virtual world of SmallWorlds, where a Sudanese peace activist and two Global Kids youth leaders, spoke about their work to educate others about the conflict and support peace in Darfur. Since then, we've had a great response from the SmallWorlds community to the project.

Most exciting is the "mission" we created to go along with the project, an online game that teaches you about the country of Sudan and the conflict there. Since the launch in February, the Sudan mission has been played more than 8,000 times!