Virtual Worlds

Immersive 3D virtual worlds offer tremendous opportunities for youth to experience learning in a new way. Since 2005, Global Kids has been an innovator in the use of virtual worlds in a wide-variety of ways: supporting a science class, assisting the U.S. Holocaust Museum, streaming speakers like Kofi Annan and Henry Jenkins to youth audiences, creating animated movies about critical global issues, providing funds to youth-led social ventures, producing a science-themed virtual talk show, enabling the World Bank to offer distance trainings, and more. Global Kids also produced the largest web-based community of educators using virtual worlds for learning, Global Kids is committed to using tools like these to empower our young people... both in the virtual and the real world.

Global Kids at Machinima Expo 2012 


This past weekend saw the 5th annual Machinima Expo which celebrates the best in machinima online. The event screened a plethora of films and fascinating panels to explore all aspects of the film community. Global Kids was invited to serve as a panelist during a session titled The Machinima Is The Message: Politically Direct. During the session we focused on our work with youth this past summer to create our climate change film The Future We Want and discussed how machinima is an asset to our students.


The panel was held in Second Life and broadcasted via Livestream to dozens of attendees. Watch the full panel below. 



Global Kids Virtual Video Project Youth Start Badging!  

Youth personalizing their profile pages on BadgeStack.


Yesterday fiteen Global Kids Leaders came for our first day of the summer Virtual Video Project. The day was jam packed with introductions to Machinima, Second Life,  and BadgeStack. Check out photos below of the first group of students to start the Global Kids summer beta digital badges program! 


Youth sigining up for BadgeStack accounts.



Global Kids Leaders draw what their ideal avatars would look like.


Kiva earns the very first community badge by accepting three friend requests.



A Cross Case Analysis of Two Out-of-School Programs Based on Virtual Worlds 

A new article has been released discussing the programming Global Kids has led in virtual worlds. You can read the abstract and download the article below.  

Let's Talk Sustainability - Upcoming (and final) Shows! 

Let's Talk Sustainability is a youth-run talk show that supports teens to develop expertise regarding sustainability, online broadcasting, and virtual world construction. Global Kids youth in New York City combined this expertise to produce talk shows that will feature interviews with STEM-related professionals, pre-produced videos, and audience activities. Each show is designed to introduce audiences to what they can do to live in a more sustainable world.

Join us as audience members for our last two shows! Everyone is welcome.

Upcoming Shows:
Climate Change - What is the science of climate change? Are there solutions to climate change that we can take action on now, or is it too late?

Electronic Waste - What is e-waste and why is it the United States' biggest export? What are the global consequences of e-waste, particularly for developing countries?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Climate Change: 5:00pm - 5:30pm EST
Electronic Waste: 5:30pm - 6:00pm EST

Second Life Location: New Media Consortium Convention Center

LTS Food Justice Show - Full Video 

On October 28, 2011, Global Kids Youth Leaders in New York City ran a talk show about sustainability in the virtual world of Second Life. The program, called Let’s Talk Sustainability, supported high school youth to develop expertise in sustainability, online broadcasting, and virtual world construction. You can read more about the program here.

Upcoming show dates will be posted on this blog.

The full video of the Food Justice talk show is below. We are also developing an Educator Site that will include three lesson plans for each topic the youth chose - food justice, climate change, and electronic waste - as well as the full videos of each shows with accompanying worksheets. The site link is: Please check back as it is being continually updated.

Special thanks to Pooky Media, the American Museum of Natural History, Cicero Kit a.k.a Jennifer Dolan, and the New Media Consortium for making the show possible!

For additional posts about our show, you can check out the New Media Consortium’s Blog and Betterverse, a blog about non-profits in the virtual world.

Let's Talk Sustainability 

We are excited to announce a new, upcoming program that will begin this July called Let's Talk Sustainability (LTS).

Let’s Talk Sustainability is an intensive youth development program that will support high school youth to develop expertise regarding sustainability, online broadcasting, and virtual world construction. Global Kids youth in New York City will combine this expertise to produce a talk show, featuring live interviews with scientists and other STEM-related professionals, pre-produced videos, and game show like activities. This talk show will be a virtual talk show, filmed before a live studio audience within the virtual world Second Life, and will be later archived with downloadable materials that will be made available for a broader audience and classrooms around the world.

LTS will introduce Global Kids youth to a broad range of concepts related to the topic of sustainability including energy, urbanization, pollution, biodiversity, global warming, and global health. The youth will select three subtopics that they will research and design an episode of their hour-long talk show to address each one. Each show will be designed to introduce their youth audience to what professionals are doing in these fields and showcase what youth can do today to live in a more sustainable world.

We are happy to announce that Global Kids has partnered with the World Bank Institute (WBI) to produce an innovative professional development training that took place in Singapore last month: a quiz show built in the virtual world of Second Life.

The World Bank Institute is the capacity building, training arm of the World Bank Group that “connects practitioners, networks and institutions to help them find solutions to their development challenges.” The virtual training activity was held in conjunction with a much longer course being offered by the World Bank Institute for about twenty municipal government officials from four different cities in Southeast Asia, gathered at a local university in Singapore. The goal of the Global Kids-produced training was to incorporate a virtual world activity into the course program, in a way that enhanced the learning of the government participants and that developed their virtual world skills for further collaborations and activities later on using these virtual tools.

A report on "Soft-Modding" in GK's I-Dig Zambia program 


The International Journal of Learning and Media has just released a report on I-Dig Zambia, funded by a grant we received from the MacArthur Foundation to understand virtual worlds in education. Soft Modding in Two Out-of-School Virtual Worlds-Based Programs provides an in depth look at how learning in virtual worlds can support youth to develop the emotional intelligence and social skills (collaboration, civic engagement) they will need to succeed as 21st century learners and citizens.

View the article on IJLM here.

Civic Education in the Era of Digital Media: A Pilot Case Study 

Ching-Fu Lan now a Ph.D. candidate in the Teaching of Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University wrote this research study of our final year of our Virtual Video Project, which produced DIscovered, and has given us permission to share it. Ching-Fu does an excellent job of evaluating the program using the frameworks of Lance Bennett.

You can download the full text here Download file