In the Media

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.”

[In the Media] Navigating the Fluidity of Identity 

In a recent Spotlight on MacArthur's Digital Media and Learning blog, entitled "Navigating Identity—Reimagining Oneself Online", the idea is discussed of online identity being a fluid thing that youth and others, must learn to manage and navigate through their digital world.

They cite our own Rik Panganiban, on the DIDI program and one of the youth ventures that took place with incarcerated youth.

“It was an ‘aha’ moment for us,” Panganiban says, a coordinator for RezEd, a hub for researchers and practitioners. RezEd is a project of Global Kids funded by MacArthur. “Those young people who have restrictions in their real lives saw the virtual world as liberating. They saw they had something to offer other kids because of their own experiences. Instead of feeling like second-class citizens, they realized they could use that experience to help other kids and say, ‘This is a choice you don’t want to make.’”

“In the virtual world, they were not kids in jail,” Panganiban says.

Instead, they could create powerful avatars for themselves, such as robots, that gave them the gravitas to “explore ideas about how to help others not get into their situation,” he says.

[In the Media] Digital Media and Learning 

Digital Media and Learning, a video featuring Global Kids teen Lucky was featured recently on the MacArthur Foundations Spotlight blog.

From the video description:

Digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life, and these changes have profound implications for learning. Researchers and practitioners supported through MacArthur's digital media and learning initiative are exploring how digital media can help extend the classroom to more informal and unconventional spaces, such as libraries, museums and even online communities.


[media] The Digital Generation on Edutopia 


Within the June/July edition of the Edutopia magazine, one of GK's Youth Leaders was highlighted as an example of how much youth can learn by creating and personalizing their own avatars.

In this edition, the article "Beauty and the Avatar" takes an in-depth look at how personalizing an avatar, can help youth deal with stereotypes that surround "beauty".

Discussing an eighth grade health class, the article begins with the following discussion: "Who looks gross? Who wants a makeover? Most teachers would ban this kind of digital discussion, but not health teacher Diane Whiting. She encourages it, because what students say online often reveals concerns that would otherwise go unspoken."

[media] Grad Student Looks at Game-Changer Technologies 

In a blog post by a New School graduate student, "Five Game-Changer Technologies for Future Education," the author discusses five different "game-changer" technologies that will "deeply influence teaching, students, and classroom environments in the next ten years". Included within these five game-changer technologies are:

  • Mobile Devices
  • 3-D Virtual Worlds
  • Open-source Textbooks and Journals
  • Open-source Course Management Systems
  • Game-based Learning

Within the 3-D Virtual Worlds section, Olysha [the blogger] mentions GK, by saying "Additionally, 3-D virtual worlds have the capacity to be global-wide learning environments. In virtual worlds, educators are able to incorporate lecture halls, theaters, or hands-on learning environments within a world. Global Kids is one example of an organization focused on bringing together students through a virtual world. Global Kids is an organization geared to bring together young people to facilitate learning in TSL. The Global Kids organization hosts workshops, lectures, and group projects that explore global social problems."

[media] Ayiti with International Recognition 

The blog, Lentura di Atas Bukit, posted an article about online gaming and in it mentioned GK's Ayiti.

From a Google translator, I found that the article talks about how people are starting to use the internet and technology to create social change. This blogger found an article that spoke about this topic, which included using Ayiti as an example of games that have been funded by large organizations to reach this end, to create social change.

The article mentioned that UNICEF was the large organization that funded the game, but UNICEF did not fund the program, but rather partnered with us to create the game. Microsoft was the company that funded the Playing for Keeps Program, during which Ayiti was designed and created.

[conf] FCC Workshop in SL 

The blog New World Notes, gives a good description of the FCC Workshop on the subject of "E-Gov/Civic Engagement," that was held on August 6th and streamed into Second Life. In the blog, the author, Hamlet, writes about how the initiative even came about and gives a link and more background information on the National Broadband Plan. Check out the blog!

[media] Lessons Learned in Playing Ayiti 

In the blog La Caixa Dels Meus Pensaments (The Thought Bank), the writer writes about her experiences playing Ayiti. She says, "it's a perfect holistic game to help kids (who live in countries affluent enough to offer access to internet games) understand one form of day-to-day life in less-affluent locales, while also nudging kids to consider their own life choices and the requirements of a healthy routine."

Read the full blog here.

[media] What's in a Name 

The blog Gamasutra, recently posted an article titled "Casual Connect: What's In A (Game) Name?". This article looks at the importance of selecting a name that fits your game. It discusses how picking a weird name for your game, though fun, can in fact hurt the connection people feel with the game itself: "An awkward name can put an otherwise fun game at a severe disadvantage." The writer, Erin Bell, looks at several names that organizations and companies have chosen to use for their games throughout the article, including Global Kids' Ayiti.

Read the entire article here.

[media] GK's Second Life Curriculum 

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Global Kid's Second Life Curriculum has been around for about a year - but it still is being found by new viewers! Check out Hey Jude's blog, which gives a quick description of our SL Curriculum and gives links as to where to download it and buy it.