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Global Kids 2009 Winter Benefit January 14 in New York City! 

GK Benefit Save the Date
Mark your calendars for Global Kids 2009 Winter Benefit to be held in New York City on Wednesday, January 14 from 6-9PM. We will be honoring Vincent Mai, CEO of AEA Investors and Co-Founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice, who has achieved extraordinary success as an international business leader while promoting human rights and social justice issues around the world. The event is being co-chaired by Chris Williams of Williams Capital Group, L.P., and Michael Sonnenfeldt, Chairman of MUUS & Company.

Preparing for panel-the Icebergs 

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These next few weeks the Icebergs (aka 'the Cool Kids') DIDI team are getting ready for panel. It's exciting to see the ideas that were talked about for weeks during workshops finally get put together into a presentation that team members are excited about.

Since we're not on SL a lot, when we do have to use the program to work together, it takes a little time to feel comfortable in the space to use it as a place to express our ideas in a focused way. We have a lot of time to prepare and the team will get to go through a mock presentation next week to see what is still needed to work on.

The planning process has been a venture in itself! Stay tuned-hopefully we'll have some blogs and podcasts by the members themselves.

[Staff] OLP Staff Reflections for November 

Hi! Hope this finds all of you energetic and well. Staff reflections are a great way to see new ways in which the OLP staff are thinking. Please read below for an update on current mind wanderings of the OLP staff.

Over the month of November, Rik comments on the fake New York Times that was published by an “anonymous” group, Rafi et al give thanks for being part of the GK team, Shawna looks at the power of language, Tabitha shares her thoughts about the space in which she works, Krista talks about Second Life and whether it is a game and Barry discusses the potential of a new Lego virtual world.

Review: The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning 

A recent review in the online journal Educause Quarterly, written by Richard van Eck highly recommends the Ecology of Games volume, of which our own Barry Joseph has a chapter on Global Kids' work.

"The final two chapters describe gaming literacies from two different perspectives: Second Life and Global Kids. Cory Ondrejka provides a useful overview of the history and origins of virtual worlds, as well as a specific analysis of Second Life and its relation to these origins and the theories and literacies described in the other chapters in this section. Barry Joseph's chapter, "Why Johnny Can't Fly," grounds these theories and ideas in the context of youth development and presents a powerful case for games as new media that can support maturation and acculturation rather than act against it."

Read the full review here.
Download a PDF of the article here.

[staff] Giving thanks to our GK Leaders! 

A couple of us here at GK wanted to show our appreciation to all the incredible GK youth leaders that we work with both in the schools and on the web, so we put together this short video expressing our thanks. Enjoy!

[p4k] Does Obama Play Video Games? 

What would Obama Play? Suzanne Seggerman, Co-Founder of Games for Change poses this question in her recent article on the power of games for learning and civic engagement.

And games do a lot more than entertain us. In fact games have extraordinary potential for learning and civic engagement across age, economic and other differences. A recent Pew Report showed that 97% of all teenagers are playing games, and that there is a noteworthy correlation between players' civic activities in digital games and their civic engagement in the real world. And last week, a MacArthur Foundation-funded study suggested that online participation equips kids with the media literacy they'll need to be successful adults.

For me, the most interesting area is the new genre of video games about real world issues -- games about the environment, global hunger, poverty, disease. These are games that help kids become more thoughtful, responsible and committed citizens. And these games may be the best tool we have to reach and engage them in the issues they will carry into their future.

[mm/teen] Media Masters and 52to48 

Hey my name is Amana. Last week in Media Masters was my first week and I'm hooked. We looked at this really cool website:
http://www.zefrank.com/from52to48withlove/index4.html

It was really cool, this website is a bunch of photos that people put up, basically saying that though the recent election pretty much tore the United States in two, now that it's over something had to be done in order to bring us back together. People from all over wrote letters or made signs in the hopes of reconciling with the other half. I was shocked to see so many people reaching out and taking time out of their lives to speak to the other half. 52 (Obama supports) were reaching out to 48 (Mccain supports) and the same the other way, no one was bitter or upset, everyone was hopeful and supportive. I was excited to know that i was going to get a chance to post a photo of my own. I decided to go with "We'll be the United States, No Matter Who Won" and I'm proud that i took part in this. I'm looking forward to the other projects we'll be doing in Media Masters.

[mm/teen] My first blog showing my digital life 

Hey wats up everybody , my name is shakera and this is my very first blog. Am I excited? Yes indeed! Well today I'm writing about my digital life. What's that? It's basically a self made map telling what I like and how my media intelligence is dispersed around cyberspace. In the process of making my map I thought of where I spend most of my time and also where I spend least of my time. The blueprint was based on the sites I visit on day to day basis and the others are just random things I do online and sites where I'm just a member.

Expressing my digital life in the form of a digital map is very different from making a list or filling out an online profile because that's where my personality comes out and I cold really show who I am in a very modern way. While I was making this digital map my views about technology and digital media were changed a bit because I always thought that technology was always complex and hard to understand, but after I finished with my map I kinda had a second view about media and technology and I see it as a more easy, cool way to express my opinions. To add to that, I also saw what kind of person I am by just looking at the size of different sites I made and how much time I spend there.cool.gif

Young Social Activists 

Global Kids own Carole Artigiani had her letter to the editor featured in the New York Times online.

Read the article below or on the NY TImes site here.

Young Social Activists
Published: November 20, 2008

(in response to) Op-Ed Columnist: Talia for President (November 16, 2008)

Thanks to Nicholas D. Kristof for drawing attention to the efforts and accomplishments of entrepreneurial young people who take action to address the needs of people and communities suffering from natural disasters and social injustice. The projects inspired by youths like Talia Leman, an eighth grader in Iowa, are remarkable, but not new.

In 20 years working with New York City’s public school students, I have known hundreds of teenagers who have identified problems — from homelessness and environmental devastation to sex trafficking and genocide — organized campaigns to educate their peers, and advocated for government policies that address critical issues, not only here but also in other countries.

[dmi] Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out - Digital Youth's Findings 

Today Mimi Ito and the Digital Youth Research group released their long awaited ethnographic report on kids informal learning through digital media, and it's a must read for any parent, educator, policy maker, journalist or administrator who's ever heard the word MySpace. More than anything else, it dispels the myth that youth involvement with the connected, digital world is at best a waste of time and at worst an impediment to their social development. The report outlines the variegated and granular nature of youth habits online, differentiating between those that use technology to "hang out" with friends they already have face to face, those that "mess around" with tech through tinkering and creating, and those that "geek out" through deep engagement with global online communities that are oriented around a common interest.