Educational Games in the Library

http://ww.gamequarium.com

Gamequarium.com is a website with numerous resources for students and teachers. It was created by Diana Dell, an educator of Missouri with 26 years of experience. The free educational games and activities are organized by subject, topic, theme, and grade level. It offers a place where children can practice skills for mastery, as well as giving them other websites that might be useful for research purposes. The language arts tab has over 800 resources that includes games for skills like synonyms and antonyms, sentence structure, and writing among other things.

Gamequarium also has a tab that is called Sqool Library. It is also organized by subject heading. There are some ebooks available to read as well as excerpt videos from shows like the Discovery Channel. This type of media engages students and lets them learn.

The Sqool Library can be used in the library because it provides a description of ebooks and books and a picture of what it looks like. Children would be able to search for the book, read the description, and decide whether they would like to look for it in the library.

-- Perla Cantu
Problem-Solving Edu-tainment Games for Gaming Night or Gaming Club in Library

http://www.funbrain.com/

Funbrain.com is a browser game website for kids developed by educators. Some websites feel too educational and lack the fun attributes that keep children engaged. This website is more edu-tainment and offers children the chance to learn through play. Many interactive games and resources are available for students, teachers, and parents for all age and grade levels in multiple subjects such as Math, Science, Grammar, etc.

Poptropica is one of the better games. It is a virtual, socially networked world where kids explore and play “in complete safety”. The graphics and challenges are at the level of a good Wii game, so it will keep kids engage. New worlds are released every few months and reflect kids current interests and fads. For instance, Steamworks Island is coming out very soon and has a Steampunk feel to it.

There are many, many uses for this website. In a library setting,I would start an afterschool gaming club or host a gaming night for families.


Carolyn Hilyard


DIGITAL GAMES IN THE LIBRARY
http://www.slideshare.net/silversprite/digital-games-in-libraries-and-information-science
This website does an excellent job of describing the new trend of gaming in the library. There are various components to the idea. One of the things that is discussed is having a gaming night and how that allows for more patrons in the library and an increase in boys coming in the door. It was mentioned that games can be modified to address the needs of the curriculum. There could be questions on where to find books, reliable sources, citing sources, etc...

I can forsee that games could be instrumental in a school library setting. Games such as the LeapFrog Didj would be a good source for elementary students. Some of the games allow for loading of spelling words, vocabulary words, science concepts etc... It would be a great library center that could be easily aligned to match the classroom curriculum. Games also could be made or modified to address things such as the Dewey Decimal System. Students are engaged, entertained, and drawn to the library.

--Kimberly Crawford

GAMES FOR CHANGE

http://www.gamesforchange.org/play

One website brings together dozens of games about seven themes: human rights, economics, public policy, public health, poverty, environment, global conflict, news, and politics. These games help upper-elementary and junior high students learn about contemporary issues and ways that ordinary citizens can make a difference in making the world a better place for everyone. The games vary in difficulty and character. Some are geared to helping the player master a skill, other games require strategy to win, a few games allow students to compete against each other.

Seventeen fifth and sixth grade students at Indian Paintbrush Elementary School in Laramie, WY, participated in the Cyber Learning Club for 90 minutes every Friday afternoon. For five Friday, they played these games. The first session was free choice. The second session was free choice with the goal of selecting a theme to focus on (and/or a game). Students were encouraged to talk to each other. For the next two sessions, the students played the games and discussed them with the other two or three students who had chosen the same theme. On the fifth session, the students demonstrated the games they had specialized in and summed up what they had learned. With help from the teacher, they talked about how they might learn more about these topics, including books they might read.

-- Amy Thurow

GOOGLE LIT TRIPS

http://www.edutopia.org/google-lit-trips-virtual-literature
http://www.googlelittrips.org/

Students and their teacher and/or librarian think through the places visited (and distances traveled) in a novel or story. They use sophisticated features in designing a google map to chart the course and to flag (and describe) the importance of places of places visited by the characters in the book. Sometimes there are historical landmarks (such as Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty) to tag, other times there are localized (possibly fictionalized) landmarks such as a well-climbed oak tree or a corner drugstore. Students can create clickable balloons to explain why places are significant to the story. The Google lit trip can be either an aid to a reader as s/he begins to enjoy a story or novel, or it can document the main points and signposts a student remembers as s/he shares impressions of the book with others.

Fifth-grade students at Indian Paintbrush Elementary School in Laramie, WY, used a version of the Google Lit Trips to take their teacher on a virtual tour of a state (of the United States), to meet the requirements of a report about the selected. (industry, parks, education, geography, etc., as categories).

Is this really a game? If students are comparing their designs with each other and competing (while also learning from each other), though it is not a game as traditionally framed, it can be viewed as one. A bonus benefit is that students learn applications of a useful tool, Google maps.

The link to the Edutopia article provides great examples of how Google lit trips have been applied by students from upper elementary school to high school. The second article groups the examples by grade level.

-- Amy Thurow

Games in Libraries or Classrooms: Brainpop Jr.

http://www.brainpopjr.com/
Brainpop Jr. is a website that allows students to navigate through different educational topics related to school curriculum and social skills. This could be used as an anticipatory guide during a library lesson relating to the topic the library is covering that day. The website includes a short animated clip and related games that cover the topic. Librarians can use this on a SMART board to enhance the attention span of the students. Library topics are covered on the website including choosing a book, library, and plot.

In a classroom setting, teachers can use this website as an enhancement to a lesson, allowing the class to participate in a game related to the topic they are learning. Brainpop Jr. can also be set up for students to use during small group station work, at a computer station. Students can choose what topic they would like to learn more about and navigate through the clip and games.

~ Jessica Spradling



Gaming/Games in Libraries

http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Gaming_Success_Stories
This is a website that is designed to let libraries share their programs and other information that helps operate libraries. These particular stories discuss how to host games days in libraries, and how popular these days were when libraries hosted them. These were success stories by public libraries, but upon further exploration, school libraries were also implementing this program.

The idea of hosting a Game Day within the library would most likely be criticized by the majority of teachers. However, video games themselves are educational because they allow users to critically interpret symbols within the game, which is an important skill for life in general. In an educational setting, I would use the concept of a Game Day in a school library by having this be an extracurricular
activity or club that could meet on a weekly basis. I would also use board games in combination with video games. The club could host a Game Day two or three times a year at the school on a Saturday or could work with the local public library to help host this event there instead. This would greatly attract students that can be the hardest to reach teenage males.

Anne Apperson

Games in the Library or classroom

http://resources.kaboose.com/games/read2.html
This is a website is designed for the lower grade level (elementary level) or students that are very behind for example students new to the country. This is a good tool to help the struggling reader develop vocabulary. This site challenges the minds of the students without the worries of failing. It contains a several games in which students can select from that focuses on word building.

This is a tool that can be implemented in the classroom and also in the library. It gives students the opportunity to learn with out the demands of an educator. It is self paced and it provides immediate positive feedback regardless if the answer is correct or not. This site can be implemented as a centered during rotation, during tutorials, before or after school, or as an incentive (free computer time) in the classroom. It can also be used in the library as a reward or free computer time.

Yolisma R. Garza


Games in the LIbrary or Classroom

http://starfall.com

This website is an amazing collection of phonics based reading help. It has colorful animation that reinforces basic skills for reading. It begins at a kindergarden level then moves to more difficult skills. I used this in a first grade classroom with a very mixed group of children. The skill levels of the students were so varied it made grouping difficult. But, every child could navigate starfall.com. None of the students got bored. This was a center everyday, as well as reward time. The web site contains read alongs that students can follow, songs, videos, and games. It challenged the students yet was fun. This site improved memory of basic sounds and patterns for making words. When teaching, the students would sing the songs or tell me what the characters said about the sounds we were discussing.

By focusing on fun interactive themes, this site provides a wealth of information and activities. This could be a useful site for librarians if computers were available for centers or free time. It needs little direction and most students find links to games, songs,and videos easily. Students can work independently or with partners on all the activities. I would recommend headphones so that students can make the most of the experience, but they are not necessary. By providing a noncompetive, fun environment, students can excel without fear of failure.

Jessicah Morgan Benton

Games in the Library/Classroom: Quia

http://www.quia.com/shared

This website contains games and quizzes created by teachers for students of all levels, from elementary to secondary. Content that is shared is free to be used by anyone. There are over 100 subject categories to choose from, and Library Science is one of them. There are games to help students learn genres, the DDC system, library terms, citations, resources, and more. Game formats range from flashcards, matching, concentration, and hangman to a Jeopardy-style game and one similar to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Most are played individually, but some are for more than one person. These games can be used to introduce lessons, review lesson concepts, provide extra practice, and extend learning time in the library and in classrooms. The games are straightforward enough for students to play on their own with little guidance, and should provide plenty of opportunity for successful learning.

Elisabeth Brown

GUIDE TO GAMING

http://librarygamingtoolkit.org/index.html

This website has a great deal of information about how a library can service patrons through gaming. It is a toolkit that has tips, resources, best practices, and the history of gaming in a library setting. There is information on how to get started with creating a gaming atmosphere within you library. Everything from a readiness inventory to creating a budget and getting funds to advocacy ideas and how to market is provided to ensure that you have a successful gaming experience. There is even a long contact list from the panel of expert librarians in case you have any questions or concerns.

There are a variety of ways to incorporate gaming in a library. You can use gaming to enhance literacy skills, math skills, reading comprehension, critical thinking, etc. You can use gaming for any topic one can possibly think of. Examples of games that are easily adaptable to various topics include Are You Smarter Than a 5th grader or Jeopardy. Through gaming the library can support learning and be the extension to any lesson. There could be a special event like gaming tournaments with the librarian as the facilitator or a gaming station set up within the library for students to play on their own. The library can host a wide range of activites and this can be accomplished on many different levels in gaming . Utimately, the library is there to support teachers and student with their learning, and gaming can be incorporated in many different ways.

- Submitted by Veronica Schmittou, August 6, 2010