Virtual Video Project

With early support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, followed by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Global Kids launched the Virtual Video Project (VVP), which taught teens to address global issues through virtual worlds and filmmaking.  Through VVP, Global Kids trained urban youth to combine film production skills and leadership development to become critical thinkers, media producers, and global citizens.  Skills such as storyboarding, script writing, and acting techniques were used by teens to create socially conscious, original stories and produce their own machinima films within the virtual world of Second Life.  VVP machinima films have been made about child soldiers in Uganda, access to education, and sex trafficking.  Most recently, VVP created a film about climate change as part of Global Kids’ participation in the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

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. 



Mahnoor Misbah Named First Community Fellow of the Year 

We wanted to send a heartfelt congratulations to Mahnoor Misbah, our intern this past summer for earning Adelphi University's first Community Fellow of the Year award due to her work here at Global Kids. We are incredibly proud of her and wish her continued success. Check out the article below!


Mahnoor Misbah (pictured at left) with students during our Race to the White House Program


Youth Virtual Video On Rio+20  

In just two weeks' time, Global Kids Youth Leaders created a machinima film about the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.  Youth were part of our Virtual Video Project (VVP) and learned skills in researching, script writing, storyboarding, voice acting, filming, and virtual world effects. 


In partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), youth were able to premiere the film to a group of teens from BPL in a fantastic end-of-program presentation.  Their hope is that through the film, more youth will learn about the global effects of climate change and be encouraged to take action.  Check our the final video below! 



Read more posts about VVP here.

Collaborating with GK DML Summer Fellow 

During this summer’s Virtual Video Project (VVP), I had the chance to co-facilitate the program with a Global Kids Digital Media and Learning Summer Fellow funded by the National Summer Learning Association. The Fellow helped us run VVP, an intensive two week program that supported GK Youth Leaders to address global and social issues through digital media production. In the end, youth made a film about global health effects due to climate change, as a continuation of GK’s involvement in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.


The Fellow collaborated with us to plan the curriculum and connect it to Common Core Standards, co-facilitated all of the sessions, actively blogged (here and here), and also participated in post-program debriefing sessions and presentations. Walleska, a full-time Global History and Special Education teacher, was chosen as the Fellow to work with GK. Both her background working with underserved youth and her experience traveling abroad as a Fulbright volunteer, made her a great fit.


VVP Wrap-Up on Badges 

Last week, our first group of GK Youth leaders earned badges that we’ve been developing over the past few months.  It was exciting to come out of the development phase and actually see our youth beta test GK’s BadgeStack page.  These youth were part of a 2-week intensive summer program called the Virtual Video Project (VVP), where they made a short machinima film about global health effects due to climate change.


VVP and the Common Core Standards 



The Virtual Video Project has come to an end and I am so proud of the work we have accomplished. I would like to extend well-deserved congratulations to the youth and facilitators involved in this extraordinary summer learning program.


Throughout the program, we focused on skills that are transferrable to youth’s future career aspirations. These skills include public speaking, collaborating with peers to achieve a common goal, and supporting arguments and opinions with reputable sources. In addition, we assisted youth in working in creative capacities, such as using their imaginations to create an original storyline and using Second Life and digital media to bring this story to life.


In an effort to process through the work we have done, we asked youth guiding questions about their experiences with VVP. I would like to share of few of these responses:



“My participation in VVP has helped improved my research skills, my confidence and my global awareness. These skills will help me with my future goals by researching I can learn more about my options, the confidence will help me become more assertive and reach for want I want to achieve in life.” – Keisha


Reflection on VVP! 


On day one the goals I wrote down I want to become a travel doctor. Since then my participation in VVP has helped improved my research skills, my confidence and my global awareness. These skills will help me with my future goals. By researching I can learn more about my options, the confidence will help me become more assertive and reach for want I want to achieve in life. 

The biggest thing I could take away from my participation in VVP is the experiences and skills I gained in second life and learning about film making  as well as meeting these amazing people with there own uniqueness. I was extremely grateful to have worked with Russell and the GK staff (Daria, Joliz, Devon). 
I want people to gain a better understanding of what is happening around them and around the world because of climate change. This will help them to be more prepared and cautious about the climate and take better steps to protect themselves.

Reflecting on VVP! 


My goal later on in life is to become a pastry chef and I can use the computer to design cakes to make my clients have an idea of what the cake is going to look like instead of drawing out the whole cake. Saves time :)!

The biggest take away from my participation in VVP is using Second Life and learning how to direct a movie by using avatar characters.
I want people to learn that every place in the world has its issues and we as people need to take part in trying to make it a better place for younger generations.


VVP Reflection! 


My participation in VVP taught me some skills that will help me towards my goal of being in the medical field as either a nurse or physician assistant. Skills such as working as a group and also that everyone had to do the job as they are told. In the profession I want to pursue everyone has a responsibility and people rely on the job they do, and if they make a mistake everyone is affected. Since I want to be in the medical field a mistake can cost someone their life.


The biggest thing that I can take with me from VVP would be the information that I learned about the health effects that climate change has on people, because it effects everyone in our world. Such people dying from starvation in Africa, this caused by climate change, or people being killed from extreme weather conditions in India, and here in the United States we are having extreme heat waves. These conditions affect everyone.  


I want people to learn from the VVP video that, even if promises are not kept by world leaders, we have to take action into our own hands and make sure that changes do happen.