Second Life

[teen/tsl] Relay For Life on Global Kids Island! 

For the past two summers, I've worked with Global Kids and various approved adults to bring the Relay for Life Second Life to the teen grid. We've been pretty successful in the past, but I'm bringing it back to Global Kids Island this year and it's better then ever.

With very much help from Fayandria Foley on the Main Grid through email and IM; and Nuala Maracas (also known as Nuala Maven on the Teen Grid) we're taking the grid by storm. It's only been about two weeks and we've already raised over L$45,000 (that's about $160 USD). The teens have totally blown our mind and done way more than we could have ever imagined.

On June 1st, the main grid Relay had an event to "Paint SL Purple". Even though it was a Monday and many of the teens were in the middle of finals, we decided to hold an event on Global Kids. We had a party and a wonderful purple-filled turnout! With my somewhat new found estate manager powers on the islands, I was able to take some terrain textures and make them purple and I turned the entire island Purple. I must say, it looked very rad.

[P4K] Global Kids main grid launch of Teen produced game CONSENT! 

CONSENT! Game pics

Join Global Kids this week, Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 2:00 - 4:00 PM (EST), 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (SLT) in the Clemson Teaching Learning, (173, 212, 26) sim for the Second Life main grid opening of the game CONSENT! We will be holding tours of the game, discussing the TSL project & holding question & answer segments throughout.

IM Rhiannon Chatnoir for a teleport during the Second Life event.

CONSENT! is a first person, simulation game based on Harriet A. Washington's book "Medical Apartheid" ( in which your avatar assumes the role of an African-American prisoner who has to make tough decisions about whether to choose to 'consent' and submit to medical experiments, which took place during the time period of the 1940s to the present.

[tsl/leadership/teen] Christmas Around the World 

Christmas is a very common holiday around the world. We all acknowledge that almost every country celebrates it, but do we know how they celebrate Christmas? For this reason, I decided to build an exhibit to showcase how different countries celebrated Christmas. The countries that I had built an exhibit for was Mexico, Australia, Nigeria, Italy, India and Japan. Starting with Mexico, I took all the attendees around the exhibit room to talk about the different pictures that were up. After going around the room, I had announced a “contest”. The participants were to take a photo in second life regarding what Christmas meant to them. Anything and anyone (with their consent) could be used in the snapshot. The winner of the snapshot contest would have their photo put onto the wall in the exhibit. The snapshots were handed in, and so it was then time for a discussion. Teens answered questions about what they saw in the exhibit, such as the similarities between the different countries and the common themes of Christmas. Overall, the ideas of food, thankfulness and family were relevant in every single country.

[SL] Coverage of Metanomics show featuring Barry 

Barry Joseph, along with David Klevan of the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum, were guests on the January 26th episode of the show Metanomics. They both spoke on education in virtual worlds including Teen Second Life. Video highlights from Barry's comments, including further thoughts on the importance of a Teen only virtual space within Second Life, are below along with links to the full video and transcripts.

But online crime needs to be seen in context too. Crime must be addressed, but so much of what is happening online - including among teens, of course - is good. Or neutral. Or bad but not necessarily criminal. Increasingly, the Web mirrors all of "real life." Our kids deserve more from parents than fear about it and from the rest of us than overemphasis on crime.

[conf] Speaking on Global Kids approach and nonprofit services today 

Rik speaking about Global Kids at Orange Island
I got an opportunity to speak about Global Kids's approach to youth development and the kinds of services we offer other institutions at "Nonprofit Week" on Orange Island in Second Life today.  It was neat being among the 150 or so avatars who rezzed in for the talks today by my friends Coughran Mayo and In Kenzo, and myself.  Thanks to Jade Lily and Orange Island for the chance to address my colleagues and others interest in the active and growing public good sector in Second Life.

For three years Global Kids has worked in the youth-only section of Second Life; it has been some of the most exciting work I have ever gotten to do in my life. Last week it was announced that eventually it will be closed. I wrote this in response and welcome comments. Thanks are due to my great staff who helped me shape my ideas and language.

If Linden Lab turns Second Life into a mixed-age grid we should not presume that, as night must follow day, that the need has passed for their youth-only grid, Teen Second Life (TSL). I would argue, in fact, that just the opposite is true, that the promise offered by TSL has yet to be realized and that replacing it with a mixed-age grid will only exacerbate existing problems that prevent youth from taking full advantage of this remarkable space.

The future of TSL has been in question for nearly as long as its been around. But last week, three years after it first left beta, Philip Rosedale addressed this issue at Metanomics. He said the following in response to a question from an audience member, Daniel Voyager, a recent graduate from TSL:

[In the Media] Digital Media’s Young Innovators 

Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s Education Director, recently introduced a new series of posts highlighting the work of youth in digital media production, including two teens in Global Kids' Online Leadership Programs, Mariel Garcia and Nafiza Akter.

[P4K] Virtual environments for education 

In the article Virtual Environments and the K-12 Education, Kelly Czarnecki offers up a look at projects using virtual worlds in K-12 schools and what is being learned from them. Within that framework she brings up Teen Second Life and spotlights Suffern Middle School and our Science in Second Life program as a good example of enabling educators to utilize virtual worlds to engage students, specifically in Science, technology and programming.

Download the article as a PDF.