Latest Entries...

P4K Citywide Prepares as Youth Facilitators  


GK's Playing for Keeps Citywide program is now in its seventh week and a lot has been accomplished so far. Our five returning youth from last year have had the chance to become peer leaders by co-facilitating parts of workshops, helping new students, and brainstorming new activities.


In these seven weeks, youth have learned game design terms and concepts, become familiar with Gamestar Mechanic, and have started using Stencyl to design games for the first time. In December, in addition to playing and making games, the group will also transition to learning about how to write and a facilitate workshops. This is because from January to March, they will be leading introductory game design and game critique workshops at various locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx to prepare youth around the city to submit their games to the National STEM Video Game Challenge.


There will be a lot to prepare for as these GK Youth Leaders take on the role of facilitators and educators in a new capacity, but they are more than up to the task!


Global Kids at Machinima Expo 2012 


This past weekend saw the 5th annual Machinima Expo which celebrates the best in machinima online. The event screened a plethora of films and fascinating panels to explore all aspects of the film community. Global Kids was invited to serve as a panelist during a session titled The Machinima Is The Message: Politically Direct. During the session we focused on our work with youth this past summer to create our climate change film The Future We Want and discussed how machinima is an asset to our students.


The panel was held in Second Life and broadcasted via Livestream to dozens of attendees. Watch the full panel below. 



Race to the White House - Election Day final event 

On election day, November 6, Global Kids leaders who participated in the "Race to the White House" this past summer, presented the results of their program at the Brooklyn Public Library. Race to the White House was a program that used GPS technology and Geocaching to create a game to engage the public in a conversation about the presidential election and to discuss issues that were important to participating youth and their community.


The youth placed GPS-linked "travel bugs" (metal tags) with questions related to public policy issues in public locations and posted the coordinates online for other geocachers to find. The students selected policy issues ranging from internet censorship to college tuition costs. Players in New York can vote on the importance of each issue by choosing to physically move the bug closer to, or farther from, the White House, and writing about why they made that choice on the geocaching website. The students monitored the responses to their challenge and the location of the bugs and presented the results to other youth including other GK leaders from John Adams School. 


See the video below, where the GK leaders talk about their participation in Race to the White House and what they learned




GK Highlighted at the National Summer Learning Association Conference 

Global Kids' digital summer program is highlighted in Pittsburgh's Kidsburgh, an online news source related to children and educational issues. In their article, "Big ideas for fixing the 'summer slide' hit Pittsburgh's national conference", high quality summer programs that were part of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) Conference in October are mentioned.


Global Kids, a recipient of the National Summer Learning Award, received funds from the NSLA to partner with teacher fellows for their Summer Pathways for Innovation project. Two different teachers collaborated with GK's Online Leadership Program staff to develop programs using new media tools such as virtual worlds to explore environmental justice and geocaching to learn about electoral politics. The teachers were able to help connect the curricula to Common Core Standards and you can see how they did that here.


Russell from Scotland in the background of our group photo


Thoughts From An Intern 

After being held captive in my home by hurricane Sandy, I had time to reflect on the first part of my internship here at Global Kids. It's already been a week (or two the time just goes by) and I've already done so much. I've created a presentaion on geocaching, set up a linux based network monitor and helped set up the office laptops. I've also done some clerical work as is expected as part of an interns tasks. Overall this has been one of the best internships I've had. It's a laid back office, they all seem pretty nice and they're not all old people so there is this level of "coolness" that comes from the staff. I definitly enjoy working with Usman and his one man IT operation, the creativity he puts into making the office network infrastructure work on a modest budget is amazing. Working with OLP is great because I have an opportunity to work with people my age and assist them in any projects they may be doing. I also get to meet other proffesionals in the field of game based learning and education which has broadened my network.