Professional Development

Global Kids' Playing for Keeps Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem 


This week, Global Kids staff had the opportunity to run two days of professional development training for our partners at the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. They will be implementing Global Kids’ Playing For Keeps Program (P4K), which trains urban youth to think critically about games and to design games about global issues. Their young people will meet once a week after school for approximately twenty weeks, play games, learn about game design and serious issues, and design their own prototypes of games, which they will present at the end of the program.

Highlights from the training included workshops about the basics of game design, an exploration of human rights and serious issues, and a lot of time spent playing and making games using Gamestar Mechanic. By the end of the training, everyone had made their own games and played each other’s games.

The New Youth City Network, and GK's role, Described in New Blog Post 

The MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight blog recently featured an excellent overview of The New Youth City Learning Network, a collaboration that Global Kids been very proud to take part in: "New Youth City Learning Network: Creating a New Vision for Out-of-School Learning."

Read all of it here or an except below:

Global Kids at World Maker Faire 


photo credit: H. Jack Martin

Over the weekend, Global Kids was at the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science! We were part of the New Youth City Learning Network (NYCLN), which includes many of our partner organizations, including The American Museum of Natural History and the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo. As part of the Urban Biodiversity Network (UBN), Global Kids was involved with an innovative mobile learning project that uses an Android phone application to engage students in exploring their neighborhoods and becoming citizen scientists. Youth at AMNH and the Bronx Zoo walked around with their phones and completed tasks, such as identifying organisms and photographing species, and then uploaded all their content onto a social media site where they could blog and see each other’s data. They earned digital badges that we created for a wide range of skills and literacies, including ecoliteracy, geoliteracy, and digital media literacy.

New Youth City Learning Network Projects at World Maker Faire New York 2010  

The upcoming World Maker Faire taking place in NYC will be featuring projects of the New Youth City Learning Network that includes the involvement of Global Kids and other NYC area partner orgs.

Whether you are interested in Infusing Social Action into Your Curriculum, Games-Based Education, Understanding Youth in the Digital Age, or a myriad of the other Professional Development trainings Global Kids has to offer - we would love to hear from you.

Fill out our latest survey and sign-up NOW to get 5% off coupon for a Global Kids professional development training; limited time offer:

NOTE: This is the third in a series of year-end reflections on the Online Leadership Program during the 2009-2010 school year.

One way that the Online Leadership Program increases our impact is through supporting other educators and institutions to use our curriculum or to adapt our youth development and digital media pedagogies. These typically take place in our headquarters in Manhattan, but we also travelled around the country and conducted online trainings.

Over the past year, OLP staff conducted professional development trainings for 200+ educators, for such institutions as the Asia Society, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Kehillah Partnership, and the National Writing Project. The topics of the trainings were wide-ranging, from games-based learning, to understanding youth digital culture, to promoting civic engagement through social media. Like all Global Kids programs, our professional development trainings are very interactive and hands-on, with many of our participants telling us this was the most enjoyable and helpful training they've ever experienced.

GK Supports High School Teachers to Incorporate Games-Based Learning 

"This project has pushed me off the diving board straight into the pool. Fortunately, the pool was not shark-infested. It was full of eager 7th graders who are non-judgmental of a teacher who tells them that we will be working on game design for the entire semester but teacher dearest does not like to play games, has not played many games in her lifetime, and really does not plan on playing games much. How this was going to work was a mystery to me. I was anxious to have workshops with Global Kids because I knew I was out of my element."

Read more about what happened when six New York City high school teachers, coordinated by the National Writing Project, sought assistance from Global Kids to bring their own designs for games-based learning into their classrooms.

Paul Allison, technology liaison at the New York City Writing Project, coordinated this demonstration project and wrote the following overview, which we are delighted to now be able to share with you.

Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits July 2010
You are cordially invited to "Creating A Better World, " a Global Kids' Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on Tuesday July 20, 2010. The event will take place from 12-1pm PST at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater in the virtual world of Second Life (teleport link). Representatives of six 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. Afterwards, there will be an open discussion about the applications of virtual worlds for various public good purposes.

The event is open to the public, with a special welcome to nonprofits, activists, educators, and developers.

Social Media Experts Launch "BeCurious" Tour of US this September 

Our RezEd podcast partner DK sends us the news that he, along with social media experts Christian and Ewan, are embarking on a "BeCurious" tour of the United States to help institutions harness the power of social media for their missions. If you are a school, educational organization, design agency, communications outfit, arts / cultural venue, or charity, contact them about arranging for a training while they are in your town.

Their tour starts in New York City from September 6-8, and then wends its way across the United States, finishing in San Diego on September 30.

More more info see

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 the final series of free professional development trainings in virtual worlds for nonprofits. Supported 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.

Beginning in June of 2010, Global Kids will be working with a cohort of 5-8 civic and cultural organizations to introduce them to the myriad applications of virtual worlds for the public sector. The "Virtual World Capacity Building Program," now in its fourth and final semester, is a four-week crash course in virtual environments, specifically tailored to the interests and needs of nonprofit institutions. Participating organizations will have the opportunity to explore different virtual worlds, test out different tools and applications, and learn about cutting edge projects run within these 3D, online spaces.