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Contacts: Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116, Jonah[AT]
Tom Mariam, Mariam Communications, 914-939-4294, Tom[AT]

For Immediate Release:

Media Offered Unique Opportunity by Global Kids to Experience Teen-Only Space of Second Life

Journalists Can Observe Projects on Education, Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

New York, NY, January 15, 2008 – Journalists from around the world will have a rare chance to get a first-hand look at the teen-only space of the popular virtual world, Second Life (TSL), through Global Kids Inc. (GK), a leader in the use of new media to empower youth.

Global Kids, now in its third year of conducting educational programming in TSL, is conducting the first invitation-only press tour of the teen-only space of Second Life on Wednesday, January 30 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST.

Journalists can participate either by coming to the Global Kids office in New York City or remotely. Interested reporters should contact Jonah Kokodyniak (212-226-2116 or jonah[AT] to reserve a spot.

The special press tour will highlight three of Global Kids’ most exciting new projects:

[dmya] Advisory meets with Project NML team from MIT 

DMYA meets with MIT's Project NML
Project NML and the DMYA

This past meeting the Digital Media Youth Advisory got to meet with our friends and co-grantees under MacArthur's Digital Media and Learning Initiative, Project New Media Literacy. Project NML is part of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, which put out an incredible white paper (pdf) about participatory culture and media education.

We spent about two hours with them talking specifically about the skill of networking, which is defined as "the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information". As Project NML puts together its new website and works to integrate online activities that could be done to build specific skills, a lot of what they're considering is not only how to teach those skills, but also how to do so in a way that's accessible and interesting to teens.

[press] The Parent's Paper spotlights virtual worlds and education 

The January issue of the New Jersey magazine The Parent Paper, has an article entitled "Student's Try a Virtual World", which spotlight's both the programs Global Kids and Ramapo are running within Second Life.


They quoted Barry several times regarding TSL.

“Once we went into Teen Second Life, we found things we didn’t find anywhere else. In Teen Second Life you have a spatial relationship with others around you and it feels like you are with people. We could do the same workshops for kids virtually that we were doing in reality.

We could do these workshops in ways that we never thought were possible. In Teen Second Life you don’t have to just imagine you are in a factory – you are in a factory. And teens are building the factory. A lot of our top down approach for spreading information was met equally with ideas from the bottom up. The space is about putting young people in charge and giving them tools. What we are able to do as educators in that space is tap into nascent leadership skills.”

The six MacArthur volumes of their Series on Digital Media and Learning are now available, and the DOZENS of chapters are each available, for free, for download. Go MacArthur and MIT press! The Global Kids Leaders in the Digital Media Youth Advisory contributed to the process by providing inspiration through essays and other media, helping to vet the initial abstracts, running an hour-long workshop on youth voices for all of the editors and authors, and doing research on specific topics for a number of the authors.

Info on all six volumes:

Download Barry's chapter: Why Johnny Can't Fly: Treating Games as a Form of Youth Media Within a Youth Development Framework

An abstract of his chapter follows:

[dmya] DMYA begins process on designing Digital Media workshop for teens 

This past Friday we had our monthly meeting of the youth advisory, during which we really delved into the process we started last month of creating a series of teen focused workshops on issues related to digital media. The driving question behind the development of these workshops: What do teens need to know about digital media usage that they do not?

Over the past half-dozen or so years, Global Kids staff, most of which work on the ground in New York City public high schools, have come across all sorts of new challenges in regards to our students' use of the internet, cell phones and games. From figuring out ways to circumvent blocks that schools put up for certain web sites to socializing in what often seemed like imprudent ways on sites like MySpace, it was clear that some discussion and education, for both staff and teens, needed to happen. And while the Online Leadership Program conducts educational programs that use digital media and often (though not always) have teens actively reflecting on many of the social issues surrounding digital media usage, this is only a fraction of the teens we work with on the ground.

[dmi] Education Week Article Features Global Kids 

An excellent overview of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative is now available from Education Week (both in print and online). Global Kids machinima program is mentioned, as are overviews of a number of other projects. As MacArthur is now officially a year into the project, it offers an excellent check-in.

Projects Probe New Media's Role in Changing the Face of Learning

By Andrew Trotter

Published Online: November 30, 2007

Published in Print: December 5, 2007

Online multiplayer games that immerse teenagers in scientific challenges and social networks designed to spark their creativity are among a range of research-and development projects that the MacArthur Foundation has backed since it launched its its digital-learning initiative a year ago.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation committed $50 million in October of last year to a five-year initiative to understand how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. ("Funder Seeding Work in the Emerging Field of 'Digital Learning,' " Nov. 15, 2006.)

[Conf] Totally Wired: How Technology is Changing Kids and Learning 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm EST

Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

A PUBLIC FORUM on how digital media is changing how young people learn and play, featuring:

Henry Jenkins, Professor, MIT, and author of Convergence Culture, will talk about his latest work on media literacy and skills young people need for the 21st Century.

Katie Salen, Professor, Parsons the New School for Design, and game designer, will discuss the new public school based on design and games she is opening in New York City.

Howard Gardner, Professor, Harvard University, and author of Five Minds for the Future, will talk about the ethical implications of growing up online.

A reception will follow:
Upstairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA 02135

Motorola announced this past week the recipients of their new Foundation Grants program. Global Kids was picked as one of the recipients with our proposal of creating further virtual world focused curriculum, this time spotlighting teaching science through virtual worlds.

Read the press release below or here.

Motorola Foundation Grants $3.5 Million to Inspire Next Generation of Inventors

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educational Programs Will Reach Children Across the Country

[Conf] Coverage of the "What Are Kids Learning in Virtual Worlds?" conference 

November 14th, at 6:00 p.m. PST, Barry Joseph will be presenting as part of What Are Kids Learning in Virtual Worlds? conference being held at the University of Southern California.

The LIVE SIMULCAST of this event can be viewed on the Web here.

Additionally, this event is being live simulcast into Second Life at Annenberg Island and Teen Second Life on Global Kids Serious Gaming sim.

We will post additional information and coverage of the event below as it comes in.

Here is a videolog taken over the course the day by Barry Joseph, in which he asks everyone he meets: "When you hear the phrase virtual worlds, what comes to mind?"

[SL] A Successful Open House 

Friday afternoon Barry hosted an open house and job fair in our Global Kids office space in the main grid. We had a good crowd that showed up and almost all stayed for the hour long talk and question and answer session. There were many questions on the various positions that Global Kids is currently looking to fill. The transcript of the event is after the click.

The crowd that showed up for our open house.

We also are encouraging anyone who attended or others interested in furthering the conversation by adding comments to this post.