Brave Bulletin
Black Line Volume 10
August 15, 2008
No. 3
Black Line
Black Line

Dr. Curtis' virtual teaching named a 'best practice'

Dr. Anthony Curtis

A paper by Dr. Anthony Curtis (Mass Communications) titled "Using Virtual World Simulation to Teach Journalistic Interviewing" was selected as a "best practice" and published by Global Kids (GK), a non-profit organization committed to transforming urban youth into successful students as well as global and community leaders.

The report is in RezEd, an online hub published by GK to provide practitioners using virtual worlds with access to the highest quality resources and research in the field to establish a strong network of those using virtual worlds for learning.

Global Kids is committed to transforming urban youth into successful students as well as global and community leaders. Using interactive and experiential methods to educate youth about critical international and foreign policy issues, GK provides students with opportunities for civic and global engagement. Through its professional development program, GK provides teachers and educators with strategies for integrating a youth development approach and international issues into their classrooms.

GK says urban public schools often fail to engage students in the learning process, develop sophisticated skills, or educate them about international relations, global health, sustainability, development, and other issues facing the United States and the world. It says Americans have come to realize that a lack of knowledge about other countries and global issues seriously impedes our capacity to assure a secure and sustainable future. In 2006, GK became the first nonprofit to develop a dedicated space for conducting programming in the virtual world of Teen Second Life (TSL) where the organization has established Global Kids Island for teens from around the world. It conducts intensive leadership programming and streams audio and video of major events into the world.

"More and more educators around the world are building a community of practice using persistent, three dimensional, virtual environments as pedagogical tools across a broad range of disciplines from science and art to civic engagement and mass communication," Dr. Curtis said. "Global Kids established RezEd to nourish such a community."

GK is supported by 64 major foundations and corporations. RezEd, in particular, is funded by the MacArthur Foundation to be an online community for educators, parents, librarians and others who are informed, connected and inspired through the use of an array of new media participatory and online social tools. In addition to identifying best practices, the organization offers moderated weekly discussions, a twice-a-month podcast, and a library collecting and contextualizing the best research and support material from the field.

GK connects some 12,000 educators each year with youth in more than 100 countries.

Dr. Curtis' publication can be read on the Web at: