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Launch of the Public Development of the Badging System with Hive NYC 

This morning the Hive NYC Network came to Global Kids Headquarters for the launch of the public development of the Hive NYC Badge System. Check out the photos below!

Global Kids Student Spotlight: Kendell Francis 

Kendell Francis

A junior at Benjamin Banneker Academy in Brooklyn, Kendell Francis originally joined GK's Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) program as a way to gain community service credit while practicing an activity he already loved: video games. However, since joining P4K, Kedell say his perspective has changed. "P4K is helping me think about how I view the world. It's helping me re-evaluate my relationship with media. Now I think about what I can do to affect the media and teach others." With the support of Global Kids trainers, he has even begun to look at collegiate programs in game design. Kendell says his goal is "to focus on building more realistic games that address everyday issues."  Playing 4 Keeps emphasizes social impact game design as a tool for exploring issues such as resource management, conflict and the influence of media on youth.

Emoti-Con! Youth Action Team Launches 

IMG_0345.JPGLast Friday we kicked off our first meeting for this year’s Emoti-Con! planning committee, called the Youth Action Team or A-Team.

Emoti-Con! is an annual youth digital media and technology challenge, now in its third year. On June 2, 2012, over 150 New York City youth from programs throughout the five boroughs will gather to showcase digital media and technology projects designed for the betterment of the world, be inspired by their peers, and meet professionals in the field. Youth will compete for awards in multiple categories, including most innovative and best potential for social impact.

The A-Team is comprised of a group of high school students who will be helping to plan Emoti-Con! Some of their tasks leading up to the event will include: setting the agenda, choosing guest speakers, promotion and outreach, and designing a youth-led workshop.

Working on Badges in Atlanta 

6727545249_2ac559042d_m.jpgThis week, GK spent a productive day visiting The Epstein Middle School School in Atlanta, where the school has implemented a badging system beginning with their sixth grade. Global Kids, along with staff at Epstein, custom designed a badging system to support the development of independent learning skills amongst the student body, funded by the Covenant Foundation.

The system is based on the recognition that learning in the 21st Century takes place not just in classrooms, but after school and through informal uses of digital media. To develop life-long learning skills, youth need to recognize how they are learning valuable skills across these venues and how to strategically navigate these sites of learning. Badge systems are designed to provide scaffolding, motivation, and recognition.

(Youth who are working on badges at Epstein can receive a power-up to miss certain classes to work on their next badge. They must wear this tag on the right to identify themselves.)

The Epstein Badging System includes a number of elements, including the badges themselves, digital transcripts, a badge management system, a badge submission process, committees, learning rubrics, back-end infrastructure, and digital portfolios.

Playing 4 Keeps - 11th Session 

In this week's Playing 4 Keeps, youth blogged about their experience going to E-Line Media to go behind the scenes of Gamestar Mechanic last week. You can read their entries here.

One entry to highlight is Kendell’s, who wrote:
Our trip to E-Line Media taught me a lot about the complex process of creating a chapter for Gamestar Mechanic and also about the many different jobs there are at E-Line. I learned how each member of E-Line contributes something to the finished product, whether it be the dialogue or the expression on the characters’ faces, and that the process involves a great deal of give and take. In the end, the team at E-Line Media will have produced a chapter that along with conveying the right message to the player, is appealing to everyone.

Youth spent the majority of the session designing their own challenge around a serious issue, except they did it entirely with paper and pen, rather than online. One group chose global warming as an issue and another group chose violence prevention. Each group brainstormed a story narrative and then wrote or drew out each step on index cards, including an intro, missions, and outro, in keeping with Gamestar Mechanic’s usual challenge format.