Second Life

[SL] GK Second Life Curriculum reviews 

We recently had a online wiki review of our Second Life curriculum, which while not totally glowing in nature, was a very lovingly crafted, thorough overview of it.

You can read the review here.

[tsl/leadership] The teen grid votes Obama! 

TSL Votes Obama!

As we blogged yesterday, yesterday in TSL we coordinated a mock election. With the help of many amazing teens including Ryan Dayton, who scripted a grid-wide voting system, and Victoria Hanfoi, who put together non-partisan candidate fact sheets to place near the polls (not to mention staying online all day yesterday teleporting people to vote!), we managed to hold what we think might be the first ever mock US Presidential Vote in a teen virtual world.

After teens voted, many stopped in and participated in a GK Intern run event by Lee Soothsayer and Nate Kongo; an open mic/debate about the race and the issues related to it. (Look for a blog post from them soon!) It was incredible just to be a fly on the wall during the event, listening as teens debated really touchy issues from abortion to the war in an incredibly civil way.

Oh? What's that? You want to know who won the TSL mock election? Oh, right! Here are the results:

358 Votes Total

John McCain/Sarah Palin: 91 votes. (25%)

[tsl/leadership] Teens in Second Life cast their virtual vote today! 

Voting Booth in TSL

Young people under the age of 18 usually don't get to experience the joys of voting in the United States.  But today teens on the Teen Grid of Second Life can head to Global Kids island (click here to teleport) to vote for their favorite presidential candidate. A virtual voting booth, created by teen Ryan Dayton, will be automatically tabulating votes for the next 24 hours until midnight PST.  Other voting booths will be scattered across the Teen Grid today as well.


UPDATE 11:30 pm EST:  Here's the poll numbers so far - TSL Mock Election Statistics: 358 Votes Total
John McCain/Sarah Palin: 91 votes (25%). Barack Obama/Joe Biden: 245 votes (68%). Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle: 2 votes (1%). Bob Barr/Wayne Allen Root: 7 votes (2%). Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente: 2 votes (1%). Ralph Nadar/Matt Gonzalez: 11 votes (3%).

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

Recently on the HASTAC, The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory blog, Sheryl Grant writes on RezEd.org, 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.

[staff] Is he just playin'? 

This conversation on the DigiTeen forum led me to think of recent interactions I’ve had in TSL. Everyone knows there are benefits and drawbacks to text (non-voice) communication. Typing gives us the time to consider our thoughts. It makes it sometimes easier to have a difficult conversation. It allows a conversation to flow more smoothly - giving the types who find it difficult to ‘cut in’ on a vocal conversation an opportunity to have their voice heard. On the other hand, emotion and nuance is more easily lost in text. Lately, I’ve often found myself wondering “is he kidding around?”, as the subtlety of tone of voice and expression are missing.

[sl/teen/leadership] Animaster Dragonash Introduction 

Hello! I'm a brand new intern in the GK Leadership Program on Teen Second Life. My name is Animaster Dragonash. Let's see. About me... First of all, I am a dedicated teen wanting to make the environment cleaner. Which is the main reason I joined Global Kids. So I can raise awareness about ecological issues. I also love animals. That's pretty much some about me.biggrin.gif

[Conf] SL's CEO Mark Kingdon's inspired by GK 

One of the highlights at SLCC was Philip Rosedale and Mark Kingdon addressing the conferenceover breakfast. During Mark's part of the talk, he mentioned several times how much he was moved by his visit to the GK offices & seeing first hand our work in TSL.

Transcript:

And there was a moment, when I first started, I was trying to get out to visit folks and I went to meet with the folks at Global Kids in New York and I got to see some of the kids using Second Life to learn. I get choked up whenever I think about it because it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen happen and it is such a profound responsibility. And, of course, what went through my head was gee I can't screw this up.

Man I tell you, I love school, but when I saw the kids at Global Kids using Second Life to learn, I was like, I think I will just quit my job and go back to school. Because if that is what learning will be like in the future, I think we will be a much richer society for it.

[sl/teen/leadership] My GK Intern Introduction 

Hello Everyone.

I'm called Daniel Voyager and I'm currently 17 years old. I live in the United Kindom in the Southwest, which is great for tourism and beaches, WoooT. I signed up to Teen Second Life on October 31st 2006 (Halloween) because I wanted to socialize with people from around the world in a virtual online world.

In Teen Second Life I like to mentor new residents, take part in resident projects, document TG happenings, take snapshots and blog about all things TG on my Daniel Voyager Blog. I'm also here to have a great experience and have a blast. I've taken part in many awesome global kids events in the past such as the CRC Camp 07, Fireside workshops, D.I.D.I. Summer Camp 2008, Debates, Parties, Selection panels and cool meetings etc.

I decided to apply for the new GK Intern Program 2008 in September, because I wanted to improving TSL experiences for folks. After a few weeks of waiting, I received a e-mail saying you are now accepted into the GK Intern group, yay!.

[sl/intern/teen] Katrina: Three Years On 

September 15th was a special day for me it was the day that I held the fireside Katrina: 3 Years On. The topic kind of fell in my lap, Rafi had been asking me about the trip I took to New Orleans for volunteer work and if I was going to blog or if I wanted to do an event. I of course took him up on the offer to do an event on GK Island!

I quickly found that this one was going to be a juggling act. I needed to not only give them the facts of what it is like in the 9th ward in New Orleans now but what happened in the first place. Both I could talk about for ages.

I started the fireside with the usual GK guidelines, one mic, safe space, and participation. From there I broke straight into rambling Vicky mode and started spilling facts out everywhere until one of the participants who had never heard Katrina reeled me back in.

Now that all the participants really understood the basic background on Katrina we went into the first activity. For the first activity the participants were asked to play the game Tempest in Crescent City and get as far as they could while paying attention to detail. After time was up we all came back and we were supposed to talk about the game and do a few processing questions but going back into rambling Vicky mode I skipped it and had to be pulled back in by Rafi.

[In the Media] Parent's Choice online interviews GK's Barry Joseph 

In a recent article on the Parent's Choice online site, Lisa Guernsey interviewed our own Barry Joseph. You can read the full interview below or directly on the Parent's Choice site here.

Barry Joseph is director of the Online Leadership Program for Global Kids, which runs afterschool programs for young people at 20 public middle schools and high schools in New York City and elsewhere. In the online program, teens create an array of media, including video games and virtual worlds, to promote global awareness and civic involvement among their peers. Joseph serves on the steering committee of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative, and his writings about the program appeared last year in The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, by MIT Press.

Your program specializes in promoting global awareness. Tell me a story about a young person who has become "globally aware."