Virtual Worlds

This is a statement from the founder and executive director of Global Kids, Ms. Carole Artigiani:

On behalf of Global Kids, a twenty-year-old youth development organization based in New York City, I applaud Julius Genachowski, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, for his recent address on “Digital Opportunity: A Broadband Plan for Children and Families.” While there are reasons to be concerned, we agree with the Chairman that digital technology and online spaces present tremendous opportunities to educate young people, connect them with the wider world, and develop the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to be engaged citizens. We see internet access as a first step in educating and supporting the next generation as they prepare for life and work in the 21st century.

We agree that the FCC's priorities of digital access, digital literacy, digital citizenship and digital safety are a good framework for approaching a national broadband strategy that benefits young people. Global Kids, through our Online Leadership Program, is doing its part through innovative and cutting-edge programming in all of these areas:

I'm speaking about Global Kids on Metanomics Talk Show this Wednesday! 

Rik metanomics2
This Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm PST, I will be speaking on the very excellent virtual talk show Metanomics about some of our recent projects at Global Kids.  I'll be talking with Robert Bloomfield, or Beyers Sellers in Second Life, about our new "Edge Projects" that are helping other civic organizations experiment with digital media and virtual worlds in ways that challenge their practices and open up new possibilities for engagement and education.

To watch us live, head to the Metanomics site for details on viewing the show from the web or from within Second Life. The talk show archive video will also be available for viewing shortly afterwards on the site.

[In the Media] Playing la vida Ludic 

Chris Collins, who writes about exploring the metaverse as her avatar Fleep Tuque, wrote a recent post bringing to light lots of new examples of how living and playing the ludic life is becoming ubiquitous.

When Game Devs Engineer the Real World – You Brushed Your Teeth, +5 points!

...Alas, I’m still waiting for virtual worlds to vindicate me, but having gone through this combo-pity-scorn routine a few times, I’m not shaken by the current state of attitudes about virtual worlds, augmented reality (why would you want to look at DATA on top of the REAL WORLD on your PHONE, what’s wrong with you?!), or most of the other technologies I use that cause people to look at me askance and with wary eyes. (Twitter???? Whaaa???)

She uses Barry Joseph's keynote from SLedCC 2008 as her jumping off point to make her point and even coins the term Ludic Luddites for those that do not yet accept the ludic life shift.

Update on Salam Project: 8,000 Plays of Sudan Mission in SmallWorlds! 

salam project SmallWorlds launch2
On Friday, February 12, Global Kids and the National Youth Leadership Council launched "The Salam Project," a month-long effort to support young people to learn about the conflict in Sudan and what they can do to promote peace there. The kick-off event took place in the virtual world of SmallWorlds, where a Sudanese peace activist and two Global Kids youth leaders, spoke about their work to educate others about the conflict and support peace in Darfur. Since then, we've had a great response from the SmallWorlds community to the project.

Most exciting is the "mission" we created to go along with the project, an online game that teaches you about the country of Sudan and the conflict there. Since the launch in February, the Sudan mission has been played more than 8,000 times!

Teens in Virtual Worlds Learn Civic Lessons 

A December Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning blog post, featured how using digital media and virtual worlds to engage you in education of civics issues.

Say the word “civics,” and most people will likely conjure images of well-meaning citizens trudging to the polls to do their democratic duty, soberly pulling levers behind dim curtains for city council members on local election days.

Civics, that is to say, rarely inspires rapture.

But that may be changing as kids, thanks to digital media, are first encountering civic issues in engaging and, yes, dynamic ways, both through school curriculums and on their own.

The article goes on to highlight Global Kids civics based Witnessing History project.

Service Learning Project Launches in SmallWorlds! 

salam project SmallWorlds launch2

This past Friday, Global Kids produced an online event for the National Youth Leadership Council on how young people can support the peace process in Sudan.  Occurring in the youth-oriented virtual world of SmallWorlds, about 50 avatars participated in a live video talk by a Sudanese peace activist and two Global Kids youth leaders, the first live event of this kind in SmallWorlds.

Many of us know about the deadly conflicts that have devastated the North African country of Sudan. What you may not know about is what you can do in your own community to support peace in this wartorn country. On February 12th, you can take a virtual stand for peace in Sudan at the "Salam Project" kick-off event.

On Friday, February 12, you are cordially invited to a virtual presentation by Nisrin Elamin, a Sudanese peace activist, and two Global Kids youth leaders, talking about their work to educate others about the conflict and support peace in Sudan. The event will take place in the web-based virtual world of SmallWorlds, at both 4pm PST and 4PM EST. This talk will be the kick off of a month of service all around the United States in solidarity with Sudan.

On behalf of Global Kids, a leading nonprofit in the field of virtual world education, we would like to invite your organization to apply to participate in a series of free professional development trainings in virtual worlds for nonprofits.

VWCP-logo200.jpgSupported by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the Virtual Worlds Capacity Building for Nonprofits Program aims to facilitate nonprofit organizations in developing an informed strategy on how to integrate these new media tools into their missions.

[SL] The Power of Virtual Civics Education 

This week the MacArthur Spotlight blog featured an article written by mac Montandon titled Teens in Virtual Worlds Learn Civic Lessons That Are Anything But Dull which highlights some of our work in Teen Second Life as an example of an engaging way of learning civics.

High school kids from Washington, D.C., involved in the Witnessing History project, certainly appeared motivated by the immersive aspects of working in the virtual space of Teen Second Life. The project was produced in conjunction with Global Kids and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

It was there that a handful of students curated an exhibit where visitors assumed the role of reporters–replete with fedoras and notepads–to learn how bystanders reacted to the horrors of the 1938 Night of Broken Glass pogrom at the outset of the Holocaust.


This Thursday, November 12, Global Kids is hosting a Fall 09 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits, from 12-1:30pm PST on MacArthur Island in Second Life (teleport link).   Representatives of five leading nonprofit organizations will give brief presentations on their initial explorations of Second Life and other virtual worlds, and how they are thinking of integrating these virtual tools into their organizations' respective missions. Afterward, there will be an open discussion about the applications of virtual worlds for various public good purposes.  The event will close with a casual mixer / dance party!

Representatives of the following organizations will be presenting: