I got an opportunity to speak about Global Kids's approach to youth development and the kinds of services we offer other institutions at "Nonprofit Week" on Orange Island in Second Life today. It was neat being among the 150 or so avatars who rezzed in for the talks today by my friends Coughran Mayo and In Kenzo, and myself. Thanks to Jade Lily and Orange Island for the chance to address my colleagues and others interest in the active and growing public good sector in Second Life.
As a recap for those that weren't able to be there, Global Kids has learned a lot in the past three years about how to best leverage virtual worlds for our particular brand of constructivist youth development. We have found Second Life to be fertile ground for getting young people to engage with each other, create a variety of media, and present that work to a wider audience. That said, we have some concerns that as Linden Lab considers created a "mixed ages" grid, we worry that some of the unique affordances of Teen Second Life might be lost.
Beyond our own work, we have a strong interest in facilitating other nonprofits and public institutions to be using virtual worlds to further their own missions. In particular, we offer a variety of services at various levels, including:
- Event Simulcasting: We have organized virtual simulcasts of scores of real world events, from conferences to workshops to awards ceremonies. We can bring a live event to a variety of virtual worlds, such as this speech by Kofi Annan that was simulcast to the web and four virtual worlds.
- Curriculum Development: We have a set of free curricula that can help any institution teach their students how to use Second Life. Or we can work directly with your institution to develop a curriculum that is unique to your site and population.
- Staff Training: Confused about how to integrate virtual worlds into your strategic plan? We can help you and your staff think strategically and holistically about how these tools can advance your mission.
- Summer Camps: We have run summer camps in Teen Second Life for a number of institutions, including UNICEF and the Field Museum of Chicago. We are able to tailor our programs to fit your schedule and students needs and interests.
If you are interested in talking about any of these services for your own organization, contact me at rik@ globalkids.org.