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Gaming in (School) libraries?

Aaron Schmidt spoke to the Internet @ Schools crowd this morning on Gaming and Learning. To entice them, he emphasized the social nature of gaming, the fact that players are reading a great deal, and often doing the equivalent of research while gaming online and cooperatively.

A sampling of Aaron’s remarks:

Games reinforce:
  • Risk taking and experimentation
  • Collaboration
  • Prioritizing
  • Continuous partial attention/multi tasking
  • Persistence
  • Decision making skills
… all are skills we teach in schools (and "21st Century learning behaviors")
 
Games that are directly about learning? Among others, Aaron mentioned Big Brain Academy – who has the biggest brain! Cooking Mama—gets you measuring, timing … For the Nintendo DS dual screen, one game, Hotel Dusk, involves a lot of reading and moving around … uses the dual screen Nintendo DS as an "e-book reader."

Host a gaming event—to create good feelings about your school library. OK, if it’s too much for your library space, Aaron said, he’s known some school librarians to set up gaming events in cafeteria after school.

Interestingly (to me, at least), there was no sign of skepticism in the room. This group of school library media specialists buys in to the idea that it’s necessary to "understand the culture" of their learners and reach out to them; they appear willing to go to considerable effort (and expense?) to get kids into library, create good library vibes. There’s got to be more to it, though, and I’d say we/they all need to ponder "what’s the next step?" after that.

Got a comment about the usefulness of gaming in your particular library environment? School librarians … public librarians … legal librarians (well, maybe not the latter.)

–Dave Hoffman
Internet @ Schools co-moderator

Internet Librarian, Yes. But Wait. There’s More!: Internet @ Schools!

A word to the educators among you librarians attending IL. (N.B.: That would be all of you, of course.) There’s a "conference within a conference" happening down in the Bonsai Room on Monday and Tuesday of Internet Librarian. It’s the K-12 media specialists’ own Internet @ Schools conference, organized by library media specialist Susan Geiger and me, Dave Hoffman, editor of Multimedia & Internet @ Schools magazine. We’ll head to our venue right after Lee Rainie’s opening keynote and delve into a program of sessions with a K-12 education focus covering Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Information Literacy, and a host of teaching and learning tactics, tools, and resources.
 
Want to know more? Check out the sessions on pages 22 and 23 of the IL final program. Among the presenters you IL regulars may already know are Robert Lackie, Aaron Schmidt, Steven Cohen, and Gary Price. And Information Searcher publisher and editor Pam Berger—whom I just saw present yesterday in Reno at the American Association of School Librarians conference—will be our Tuesday morning keynote speaker. They and our other teacher-librarian presenters will have lots to say about preparing today’s students to function in this 21st century information landscape.
 
–David Hoffman
Conference Co-chair and Co-moderator
Internet @ Schools West