Staff Reflections

Resources for Cyberbullying 

For those of you who attended the Bullying workshop at the 2013 Global Kids Conference on Violence and Peacebuilding - or if you stumbled here on your own - here is the digital version of some of the resources we shared. 



If you're having thoughts of suicide or any type of self-harm, help is just a phone call away. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a trained professional and get connected to a mental health provider in your area. It's available 24 hours a day nationwide. You can also dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


The Trevor Project also offers a 24-hour toll-free confidential crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).


National Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474











Jack Martin Joins Global Kids! 

GK is pleased to introduce a new member of the GK Family! Jack Martin joins us as Associate Director of the Online Leadership Program after many years of directing programs at the New York Public Library. At the Library, he partnered with GK to create NYC Haunts, our geolocative mobile gaming program. Jack also has an extensive background in theatre, the arts, technology, science, and dance. Welcome Jack!


Thoughts From An Intern 

After being held captive in my home by hurricane Sandy, I had time to reflect on the first part of my internship here at Global Kids. It's already been a week (or two the time just goes by) and I've already done so much. I've created a presentaion on geocaching, set up a linux based network monitor and helped set up the office laptops. I've also done some clerical work as is expected as part of an interns tasks. Overall this has been one of the best internships I've had. It's a laid back office, they all seem pretty nice and they're not all old people so there is this level of "coolness" that comes from the staff. I definitly enjoy working with Usman and his one man IT operation, the creativity he puts into making the office network infrastructure work on a modest budget is amazing. Working with OLP is great because I have an opportunity to work with people my age and assist them in any projects they may be doing. I also get to meet other proffesionals in the field of game based learning and education which has broadened my network.


I'm Leaving GK and What You Can Do About It 

After a dozen years at Global Kids, the majority directing our Online Leadership Program, I would like to announce that it is time for me to move on. I am sad to be leaving this incredible organization, the youth we serve, and the staff with whom I have had the privilege of doing such ground-breaking work.


I will be embarking on a new adventure, as the Associate Director for Digital Learning in the Education Department of the American Museum of Natural History.


Because Global Kids has meant so much to me, I would like to ask your help as I plan to transition, in three specific ways:

  • Comment on the 12 key lessons I have learned while working at GK.
  • Help me see that work continue to flourish.
  • Promote the search for my replacement.


Help 1: 12 Lessons After 12 Years

After considerable thought, I think I can summarize 12 key lessons I learned over my time at Global Kids, lessons about digital media in a youth development and global education context. To read explanations of each of the lessons (and respond through the comment section) please visit here.


12 Lessons After 12 Years 

A few weeks ago I completed my 12th year at Global Kids, the majority as the Director of our Online Leadership Program. I recently announced that at the end of the month I will be leaving, to take on a new position at the American Museum of Natural History. My time at GK has been a continuing education program beyond my wildest dreams. As I prepare for the upcoming transition, I wondered if I could take this opportunity to see if I could summarize my key take-aways. What I came up with are lessons I am sure to carry with me but, more importantly, speaks to the importance for this work to continue at Global Kids.

1. Youth Care. Youth care about their lives, the worlds around them, and what they can do to better both. Some youth I met knew it. Others had forgotten. But in my 12 years at GK I have never met a youth who lacked the capacity for passionate engagement, given the proper context and support. I learned none should underestimate youth from low performing or at risk communities.


The 1st 12 Years of the Global Kids' Online Leadership Program 

In reverse chronological order, programatic highlights from Global Kids' Online Leadership Program, during its first 12 years:

Let's Talk Sustainability Staff Reflection  

fort%20greene%20park.jpgFor five weeks this summer, I ran a summer youth program with a few colleagues called “Let’s Talk Sustainability” (LTS). LTS is a youth development program that teaches high school students about sustainability with a STEM focus. The intense summer portion of the program had us meeting with students for five consecutive weeks every Monday-Thursday for full days. Overall, the program was very manageable, due in large part to the enormous amount of preparation that went into developing the curriculum for this program.

Still, despite all the preparation in the world, programs take a life of their own once they start, mainly because the youth who join create their own dynamic That, and there are always unforeseen elements that are beyond our control, no matter how much we anticipate them (i.e. technical difficulties, student behavior, weather conditions on field trips, etc).

GK's Latest DML Central Post On What's Interesting 

Each month for the DML Central we at Global Kids annotate a list of our favorite finds from the past month in regards to digital media and learning. Below is our latest from June.

The National Writing Project has launched a fantastic new web site, Digital Is, to build a community amongst educators exploring how the digital age is changing how we write, share, collaborate, publish and participate in the digital age. More importantly, what does this mean for the teaching of writing? The site offers resources, news and discussions. It is fairly new, so check it out and consider being part of building this community. Global Kids has already contributed to Digital Is by adding multimedia curriculum for Supporting Youth to Develop a Mental Map of Where They Learn.

Other choice resources we've discovered recently and been inspired by:

Thanks and Farewell to Global Kids 

rik w IDZ teens japanese gardens

This is my final blog post as a staff person at Global Kids. In a few weeks, I am moving back to my hometown in Bay Area California in order to be closer to my family and pursue other interests.

After three years at Global Kids, I thought it would be useful to recap how I came to Global Kids and what I've accomplished in that time and what working here has meant to me.

Read on for all the juicy details... 

"A Teen Free Zone"

It was December of 2007, a few days before Christmas, and the company that I was working for had decided my services were no longer needed.  It looked to be a pretty bleak holiday for me.

And then I got a text message from Barry Joseph saying that he wanted to talk.

Getting Mom & Pop to Understand My Job 

So I realize that it’s often hard to explain my job to my friends, unless they work in similar industries, but that it’s impossible to explain it to my parents. My parents are first generation Chinese immigrants and totally old school, but they've also adapted to many American values. However, for many reasons, they have no idea what I do for a living and I can’t explain it to them. There are several reasons for this.

To begin with, I don’t have an advanced enough Cantonese vocabulary for words like “digital media”, “youth development”, and “global citizenship.” Second of all, even if I did have that vocabulary, they have limited exposure to jobs that are outside of professions they’re familiar with (i.e. doctor, lawyer, businessperson, pharmacist, teacher, architect). And even within these familiar job titles, they only have one concept of what each can look like. For example, it took my parents a long time to understand that while my brother studied architecture, he’s actually more of a designer who uses his architecture background for other types of work (they’re still confused).