[staff] Summer 2009 OLP Staff Reflections 

The summer may be drawing to a close, but we here at GK are gearing up for the start of a new school year!

MacArthur Roundtable on Nonprofits and Virtual Worlds

Yesterday, representatives of four very different nonprofits spoke in Second Life about the public good applications of virtual worlds based on a four-week training conducted by Global Kids. Entitled the "MacArthur Grantee Virtual Roundtable," the event featured:

We had a tremendous turnout, with nearly 100 avatars cramming the MacArthur Island amphitheater.  Lots of representatives of nonprofits that are already active in virtual worlds were present, as well as several complete newbies to Second Life.


For the past four weeks, representatives of five nonprofits supported by the MacArthur Foundation have been going through the "Virtual World Capacity Building Program" an intensive training on nonprofit applications of virtual worlds.  These organizations have explored several major virtual platforms, examined some of the leading examples of nonprofit actions in the metaverse, and thought about how they might best use these tools to further their respective missions.

TODAY, Thursday, August 27, four groups will be presenting on MacArthur Island in Second Life their initial impressions of virtual worlds, outstanding questions, and possible next steps.  It's a very diverse group of nonprofits, including:

[conf] FCC Workshop on Education & Broadband in Second Life a success! 

Thanks to the nearly 80 folks who turned out for the Second Life simulcast of the FCC Workshop on Education and Broadband Access! Special thanks to Hamlet Au, Pathfinder Linden, Ricken Flow, and others who helped promote the workshop to their networks. And congratulations to the FCC for taking a chance on these new forms of public engagement.

This Thursday, August 20, at 10am PST / 1pm EST, Global Kids will be hosting a Second Life simulcast of an FCC Workshop on the intersections of broadband access and education. The goal of this workshop is to identify potential impact of increased broadband access on education outcomes and how broadband policies can help improve those outcomes. The FCC hopes to learn about ways in which broadband can impact education at the early childhood, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels in a cost-effective manner. The workshop will look at current programs, such as e-rate and evaluate how such programs can be improved, for example, to take advantage of new technologies that have arisen since it was established. The workshop will also look at what applications and devices might be used to improve educational performance.

Hosted on MacArthur Island in Second Life (click here to teleport ), this video simulcast of the workshop is open to the general public to attend. Virtual event hosting, moderation and technical support provided by Global Kids.

[mm] Media Masters Student Portfolios 

In our pilot year of Media Masters, students worked on various media projects dealing with global issues and new media literacies, and at the end of the year compiled and contextualized this work into Digital Portfolios, to be used for college applications, job searching and school credit. I'm thrilled to share the portfolios from the program below, and to see all of them, just click the links at the bottom of the post.

Amana's Digital Portfolio:

FCC Workshop on Education & Broadband simulcast in Second Life August 20 

FCC Workshop on e-Gov

We are excited to announce that Global Kids will be producing in Second Life a simulcast of the upcoming FCC Workshop on education and broadband access next Thursday, August 20.  The topic is obviously very near and dear to our hearts, so we are excited to be involved. We hope that all of the communities of educators, students, nonprofits, and others who understand the value of broadband access for education turn out and participate.

[conf] Thanks for coming to FCC Workshop on e-Gov and Civic Engagement 

FCC Workshop on e-Gov
Thanks to those of you who work up early to attend the Second Life simulcast of the FCC's first workshop on "E-Gov and Civic Engagement" yesterday morning. We had an engaged crowd of about 30 avatars attending the virtual event. Despite some technical difficulties with the stream, people were able to follow the panel presentations and then submit their questions for the Question and Answer periods. There were several Second Life shout-outs by the presenters and a few of the questions from Second Life got addressed.

Kudos to the FCC for experimenting with various forms of online public participation in their proceedings. Hopefully this is just the beginning of these governmental efforts to use virtual worlds to increase transparency and public input into policy-making.

For those that missed the live event, you can view the recorded video at this link and you can continue to submit questions and ideas on their Ideascale page.

This Thursday, August 6, at 6:30am PST / 9:30am EST, there will be a Second Life simulcast of an FCC Workshop on the subject of "E-Gov/Civic Engagement." The goal of this workshop is to evaluate how broadband can improve the performance of government specifically in terms of transparency and citizen participation and more generally in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The workshop will consider various ways all levels of government, as well as governments in other countries, have used broadband to improve its performance in these ways and how those lessons might apply for purposes of developing the national broadband plan. The workshop will also consider the potential benefits of universal broadband in enabling various government operations to move to a digital platform in terms of improved performance, cost savings, and strategic benefits to the communications infrastructure.

On Saturday, June 27, 2009, over 100 New York City-area youth gathered at The New School to showcase their use of digital media and technology at (o.o), the first NYC Digital Youth Media and Technology Festival. While the youth enjoyed a game design competition, a project fair, a college and career readiness fair, and more, there was a constant backdrop of participatory voice through the use of Text The Mob, an application to capture the moment-by-moment thoughts, feelings, and energy of the crowd. To help you gain a better sense of what happened at this festival, here are the texts:

Arrive, mingle, get lunch!
Hi, everybody!
Welcome to (o.o)!!! 11:38:23
Let’s get this thing started! Barry Rocks!
where's access?
very excited to be here. Thx Barry
Hi, everybody!

Opening remarks
CONGRATS TO PARSONS/MOUSE for this Great Event!!!!