Last Wednesday, November 18, Global Kids had the honor of helping produce the "Power of Youth Voice" public forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA.

For those that were not able to attend the simulcast or real life event, it has now been uploaded to Youtube by the MacArthur Foundation.

Chase hand-bannerHere's an exciting opportunity! Global Kids stands to win $1 million in a competition on Facebook by Chase Community Giving. But we need your votes to win! Voting takes less than 60 seconds, please click here to VOTE FOR GLOBAL KIDS NOW!

Want to know how your vote for GK can make a difference? Read about the life-changing experience of GK alumna Joliz Cedeño, featured recently on the Huffington Post.

[p4k] Report Finds Program Effectively Trains Educators To Teach Game Design 


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Report Finds Program Effectively Trains Educators To Teach Game Design

Selen Turkay, a doctoral student in the Instructional Technology and Media program at Teachers College, Columbia University, recently prepared an independent evaluation of Global Kids’ Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program, which trains educators to combine games and social issues in their work with youth.

The findings, based on 45 interviews with educators from the New York public libraries and Boston-area housing projects, revealed that Global Kids successfully prepared youth workers to inspire and guide teens to learn and create game prototypes about social and global issues.


This Thursday, November 12, Global Kids is hosting a Fall 09 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits, from 12-1:30pm PST on MacArthur Island in Second Life (teleport link).   Representatives of five leading 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. Afterward, there will be an open discussion about the applications of virtual worlds for various public good purposes.  The event will close with a casual mixer / dance party!

Representatives of the following organizations will be presenting:

The MacArthur Foundation recently published a series of articles to the "Behind the Research" section of their Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning site which highlighted some of our programs both past and upcoming.

Below you can read the article entitled "Learning at the Edge: Transforming After-School Spaces into Learning Networks" by Sarah Jackson, which brings up some of the focus of the newly launched Edge Project.

Behind the Research: Learning at the Edge: Transforming After-School Spaces into Learning Networks

Global Kids takes digital tools to kids’ hang out spaces to help institutions like museums adapt to a changing learning landscape and attract youth.

As schools still struggle to integrate web 2.0 technologies, kids are going online, texting and playing games on their own time.

How can these new media tools be used for learning outside of school?

As scientist and educator John Seeley Brown says: “To transform the core, start at the edge.”

[conf/teens] The Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age Forum 

Hi! This is Nafiza Akter, and I was one of the youth attending the Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age Forum. This forum was put together, as far as my understanding goes, to look at how technology could be used and incorporated into the current educational system for the benefit of the students. The nine youth that attended, organized by Global Kids, all helped to incorporate actual youth voices into the forum since the entire event was based around how technology could be used in the educational system that we have been receiving and experiencing. The event was held at the Googleplex, which, as you can imagine, was more reason to why no one would want to miss an opportunity to attend this event.

Shonette and I arrive at the GooglePlex

Virtual World Capacity Building Program 

VWCP-logo200.jpgIn August, Global Kids graduated its first cohort of nonprofit staffers who participated in the Virtual World Capacity Building Program, a four-week introduction to virtual worlds and their applications for civic and cultural institutions. These four organizations -- the Vera Institute of Justice, the Adler Planetarium, Architreasures, and the National Writing Project -- had almost no experience with virtual worlds prior to the program, but by the end of the four-week course were able to speak cogently and insightfully about how these digital tools fit into their larger institutional missions. Over the course of the four-weeks, these staffers explored a number of different virtual worlds, created avatars for themselves, learned how to build 3d objects and bring in multimedia resources, and engaged in in-depth conversations about the strengths and challenges of working with these new media tools. (You can see a report about this first Virtual Roundtable.)

Introducing the Edge Project 

“To transform the core, start at the edge.” -- John Hagel and John Seely Brown

The Edge Project is part of Global Kids recent support from the MacArthur Foundation to expand the capacity of civic and cultural institutions to use new media as innovative educational platforms that engage youth in learning and promote youth civic participation. More specifically, the Edge Project is interested in civic and cultural institutions bringing cutting edge digital media into their youth educational programs. It is equally interested in where this type of programming - due to technology, its pedagogical implications or both - is a disruptive force challenging the educators and/or the institutional cultural to work on the edge of their comfort level. There is a balancing act they must undertake, being receptive to how new media challenges their current educational culture and practice while, in turn, challenging the educational potential of new media through interacting with that very culture and practice. At the end of the day, we want to better understand the following questions: how do institutions find their balance working on this edge and do different types of institutions respond in different ways?

Supporting Civic and Cultural Institutions With New Media Practices 

“Learning simply looks different today. Digital media are not only changing how young people are accessing and consuming new knowledge, but they are extending the classroom to more informal and unconventional spaces, such as libraries, museums and even online communities. These institutions need to adapt to this new environment.” -- MacArthur Vice President Julia Stasch.

This Fall, Global Kids received support from the MacArthur Foundation to expand the capacity of civic and cultural institutions to use virtual worlds, as well as other emerging forms of digital media like digital games and social media, as innovative educational platforms that engage youth in learning and promote youth civic participation.

Through this grant, over the next two years, Global Kids will undertake three models for capacity building:

[Staff] October Staff Reflections 

With Halloween behind us, OLP staff are off to a running start. Read what we have been doing over the past month, starting with a quick overview: Rik looks at the challenges of digital tools for newbies, Barry reflects on various GK alternative assessment tools, Krista writes about her past year working at GK and Amira talks about a new GK initiative working with U.S. jails.

Read the reflections below for a more in-depth description: