In the Media

Great video of NYC HS students playing 'Ayiti' and sharing their thoughts 


On the one year anniversary of the 2009 earthquake in Haiti, NYC school teacher Paul Allison used Global Kids' Ayiti to teach his 10th graders about both gaming and the country. This remarkable video interviews all of the students about their views on the game, on using games for education, and models how a teacher can use a game to challenge students to think critically.

Make sure to stay to the end when the students grab the camera and turn it back on their teacher!

View Paul's original blog post here

‘Newsgames’ Turns Current Events Into Games

By Charles Q. Choi, TechNewsDaily Contributor, 07 February 2011 11:09 AM ET

Online “newsgames” that borrow from real-life events are helping to educate players about current events in novel ways.

Newsgames essentially transform the news into playable experiences. Just like news, they focus on real people, events and places, and they seek to explain complicated topics in clear ways. Many newsgames are online, requiring only a web browser and an Internet connection to play.

"With newsgames, people are more than just reading the news, they're actively interacting with it," said one newsgame developer, Nicholas Diakopoulos, a computer scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

"They're not going to replace traditional reporting or text or images or video or other forms of media, but they can get readers to engage with information in a different way, and that could make the news more persuasive, or enable learning and insight about news information in a new way."

Check out the great resources the GK Online Leadership Program contributed to the Digital Media and Learning central blog this month!

At the top of the must-read list this month is "How the Internet Gets Inside Us," an article by New Yorker writer Adam Gopnick who offers an insightful overview of the range of opinions found in recent books regarding the shifting relationship between humans and technology.

He categorizes books about the Internet into the Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers, and the Ever-Wasers. The Never-Betters believe that we’re on the brink of a new utopia, the Better-Nevers think that we were better off without the Internet, and the Ever-Wasers insist that at any moment in modernity something like this is going on, which is exactly what makes it a modern moment. The terms may be silly, but the points are dead-on, as are the relevant books he assigns to each category that deserve further reading. At Global Kids, we tend to be inspired by the Never-Betters, cautioned by a huge dose of Ever-Wasers, and try to keep on top of the Better-Nevers so we can understand their concerns.

Information R/evolution

A 6-Year-Olds Perspective on Playing Ayiti... 

Even years after its launch, we are still delighted to see, week after week, examples of how people find Ayiti: The Cost of Life useful for developing a broader awareness of global issues. The following, however, is most unusual, as it describes the experience of a 6 year old! Thank you to Ching-fu Lan for sending it over.

You can read the original post on Columbia University's EdLab blog, or below:

CNN: Global Kids Teen Leader Addresses the Security Council (video) 

Here's a neat video from CNN of a group of young people from around the world who got to attend the UN Security Council during a special session.  More than 100 Global Kids teen leaders were among the youth who were at the session, called for US Ambassador Susan Rice.

Last month we mentioned that Global Kids and the New York Public Library published an excerpt from our upcoming Worked Example on the Edge Project completed last spring, Digital Expression, with The Journal of Media Literacy Education, an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education.

What we neglected to mention was that Global Kids saw two pieces within that issue, the second written by folks from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education (Katie Davis, Shira Lee Katz, & Carrie James), along with GK's own Rafi Santo (now off in a graduate program of his own):

Fostering Cross-Generational Dialogues about the Ethics of Online Life:

Global Kids Launches DC Programs with Gala Benefit 

Global Kids launched their DC programs with a world-class benefit hosted by the French Ambassador Pierre Vimont yesterday evening. The gala event featured a silent auction and delicious food prepared by award-winning chefs Daniel Boulud, Jose Andres and Michael Richard and others. Among the dignitaries in attendance were Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Comtesse Elisabeth de Kergorlay, Chef Daniel Boulud, and DC TV news anchor Kimberly Suiters.

For more about the evening and more photos, see the Washington Scene website.

Ayiti: The Cost of Life Sent Appreciations on Thanksgiving 

The Jay Is Games web gaming review site named Global Kids Ayiti: The Cost of Life as one of "the greatest games of yesteryear."

This life sim game is just as relevant now as it was in 2006. However, since this game is about grinding poverty in Haiti, that's not necessarily a good thing. Reading news articles about the cholera outbreak, I couldn't help but think of playing game after game of Ayiti. One game, I'd manage to eke out a pretty nice existence for the family; the next game, I'd watch helplessly as family members succumbed one by one to cholera, tuberculosis, and overwork, then died either from the illness itself or because with no one working, there was no one to buy food. And yet, the game never succumbs to cynicism, clinging indomitably to hope. The message I came away with is to open your eyes and really take a look around you at all the opportunities you've taken for granted, and to think about how to help people who haven't had the same opportunities. I can't think of a better message for the Thanksgiving holiday.

GK and NYPL jointly published on recent Edge Project collaboration 


Global Kids and the New York Public Library just published an excerpt from our upcoming Worked Example on the Edge Project completed last spring: Digital Expression.

The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education. Check out our pieces there on:

How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From “Hanging Out” to “Messing Around”

Or click Download file">here to download it. (If you would like to read the completed Worked Example, still in development, please contact us and let us know.)

Below is the abstract we wrote for the entire Worked Example:

Joni Blinderman of the Covenant Foundation penned this piece for eJewish Philanthropy entitled, "Web 2.0: The Promise of our Children, and the Obligation of Philanthropy."

It describes both her philanthropic philosophy (take risks and test local) and describes, in broad strokes, Global Kids' work integrating a digital literacy transcript into this New Orleans Day School's curriculum. We hope to post a report shortly detailing that work. Until then, please check out this piece.

Media multi-tasking defines the world our children inhabit, and educators, philanthropists and communal leaders have the responsibility to guide and encourage integration of the most powerful digital tools with learning.

When they gather at the Jewish Futures Conference on Monday to explore dynamic visions of Jewish education, an emerging model will be within view. Just miles away at the New Orleans Jewish Day School, technological innovation and philanthropic vision are transforming an institution shut down after the devastating rage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (read more...)