Social Media

[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.

Engaging & Educating Global Citizens on Youth Media Exchange 

Global Kids in collaboration with TakingITGlobal were recently featured on the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight Blog to discuss Youth Media Exchange. TakingITGlobal's Natalie Rodic and Jennifer Corriero discussed the launch and development of Youth Media Exchange, the online social network for youth interested in using digital media tools to share information on major global issues.

The demonstration phase of Youth Media Exchange sought to examine the question: how is youth-produced media best conceived, organized, and disseminated to engage and educate a broad audience of global citizens? This social networking website went about answering this question by aggregating and amplifying youth voices through digital media with the aim of increasing media literacy skills in the process. Throughout the course of the last year a number of new questions arose for this collaborative group of professionals informed by the process of experimentation and academic advisors on the project.

[mm/teen] My First Blog Post, Map of Digital Life 

Hello everybody.

My name is Sebastian Solis and this is my first blog. For the first class we had I created a project called Digital Life Map. It represents what are some of the things I experience with almost everyday. I think that there are many social networking sites were you can share ideas with other. Why don't we use them to make a difference? Some of the social networking sites I use are, my space, hi 5, facebook, hotmail, yahoo, itunes, etc. It means we are connected; I like to stay connected with my family and friends. It doesn’t really look like a map, but what I wanted to show is that they are all connected to my life, connected to the center, they are all necessary for me. It looks like the solar system and my life is like the sun. Check it out!!


[press] HASTAC writes about, I Dig Tanzania and Virtual Worlds 

Recently on the HASTAC, The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory blog, Sheryl Grant writes on, virtual worlds and Global Kids programs like I Dig Tanzania.

In the I Dig Tanzania summer camp, students were part of a guided experience, using avatars to bridge gaps of distance and understanding with the help of educators and mentors. Given how easy it is to be invisible and anonymous online, virtual worlds can sometimes raise ethical questions -- for youth and adults alike. Like anything that we do with kids, positive mentoring and best practices play an important role, themes that run through RezEd's community.

It has some great quotes from James Paul Gee, and our own Amira Fouad and Barry Joseph.

"Virtual worlds are not escapist fantasies but a new way to extend our lives and our sense of self. How can virtual worlds expand our lives in new ways," asks Joseph, "What social affects arise as a result, and are these results desirable?" It will be communities of practice like RezEd and pioneering groups like Global Kids that will help determine the answers.

Click here, to read the full article.

[In the Media] ENCORE JOURNEY: From women's history to Global Kids featured a wonderful article that focused on GK's own Executive Director and Founder Carole Artigliani. In the post ENCORE JOURNEY: From women's history to Global Kids, Jenny Griffin the author, Interviews Carole and tells the story of the path that she took that led to the creation of Global Kids.

To mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the nonprofit Global Kids, has launched Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City to showcase the disaster’s heroes and reinforce emergency preparedness.

Just a few years ago, the virtual reality technology used in the game and Web site would have been alien to Carole Artigiani, 67, executive director of Global Kids and a Purpose Prize fellow.


A career path that once seemed incongruous now makes sense to her. “It wasn’t always as obvious to me as it is now, looking back on my life. Three dimensions were coming together: my background as an educator, my experience in social and political movements, and my passion for the issues in our country and the world,” Artigiani said.

[dmya] Pew Report on Gaming and Civic Engagement Released 

Pew Internet: Teens, Video Games and Civics

About a year ago, I wrote about GK teens assisting the Pew Internet and American Life Project in developing a survey about the effects of game play in young peoples' lives. On Monday, I got an email from Amanda Lenhart of Pew letting me know that the results of the survey, the first comprehensive study on teen gaming habits and their relationship to civic life, has just been released.

From the report, which can be downloaded here [pdf]:

The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement.


Global Kids
137 East 25th Street New York, NY 10010


Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116, Aimee Yoon, Dotted Line Communications,, 646.678.4980
Second Life: Peter Gray, Lewis PR,, 415.992.4434

For Immediate Release:

Virtual Worlds Collaborate to Spread Kofi Annan’s Message About International Justice: Global Kids Plays Lead Role in Bringing Event to Online Communities

On March 20, 2008, spearheaded by Global Kids, Inc., a unique collaboration amongst virtual worlds, which combined report audiences of over 10 million users, streamed live from the Waldorf Astoria where Kofi Annan received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s first award for international justice. While Annan spoke before a live audience of 1,200 people in New York City, hundreds more watched and discussed the live speech across four virtual world communities, creating the largest massively multiworld simulcast to date.

[blog] Henry "Dumbledore" Jenkins lends us praises! 

Recently in a blog post entitled Dumbledore for a Day: The Things You Can Do in Second Life, Henry Jenkins shared his experiences during our recent wizard rock inpsired event Hogwarts Dance Party of Good and Evil focused around Harry Potter fandom. Henry also lends praise to Global Kids.

A while back, I shared with my blog readers my experiences in Teen Second Life, thanks to an organization called Global Kids. I've gotten a chance to work more closely with Barry Joseph, Rafi Santos, and others from the Global Kids organization over the past year or so and each encounter has left me even more impressed with their respect for their young participants and their imaginative use of virtual worlds to focus young people on issues impacting the real world.

Thanks Henry! To read more of the post, click here.

Also, Roland Legrand, within his blog Mixed-Realities, takes note of Henry's post and shares his thoughts on it and the event.

The Affordances of Virtual Worlds and 21st Century Learning Environments 

Below is a reposting of an article from MacArthur's Digital Media and Learning, in which Connie Yowell asks: What can we learn from young people about why they find virtual worlds so appealing?

[conf] Teen Residents on the From Myspace to Hip Hop Symposium 

On April 23, 2008, 39 youth in Teen Second Life participated in the 2.5 hour public forum, "From Myspace to Hip Hop: New Media In the Everyday Lives of Youth." It addressed how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life, presented by Common Sense Media, the MacArthur Foundation and the Stanford University School of Education.

As is common in Teen Second Life, Global Kids facilitated processing questions during the live video stream, encouraging youth to respond to the content of the video and relate it back to their own lives. The following are some of the highlights, addressing such topics as:

  • On MySpace, Facebook and Parental Restrictions
  • On Socializing in Teen Second Life
  • On Second Life and Homophobia
  • On “Kiddy” Virtual Worlds
  • On Showing Their Second Life Avatars To Friends and Family
  • “Hip Hop is the Web 2.0 of the Streets”