A productive half hour. Five sophomores showed up and were surprised more people weren’t there. The kids’ main concern is getting a critical mass of 15-20 people to play which would make a fun game.
Most of our potential members are in the Anime Club which meets during activity blocks like us. We can’t move to after school because kids’ schedules are too busy.
Also, no freshmen showed up which I attribute to their being mad at me for the frustrating research and technology class I taught at the beginning of the year. I hope that that will change, but if it doesn’t there is a large group of minecrafting freshman arriving next year.
Since Minecraft is drama filled, there was discussion about barring entry to players who were likely to be trouble. The club decided everyone would be innocent until proven guilty. Also, since this server is donated by a student who has used it to play with kids in town there is a history associated with it.
We are thinking of starting with a high stakes, fast, super dangerous kind of game to get things moving.
I am charged with getting the software downloaded on three computers in the lab. I will give more details on that later.
I’m starting a Minecraft in my school. I’ve been anxious about the idea because I feel like I don’t know enough about the game. Why did I feel I had to do it? Because I’ve been reading Minecraft posts by Sarah Ludwig and I admire her practice. And, most important, there is a Minecraft club at our middle school—and I’ve got to keep up with them!
Kamishibai, a traditional, low-tech form of Japanese storytelling, has magical effects on your audience. I fell in love with it last month thanks to Deborah Abner, my friend and wonderful librarian at Lincoln School in Brookline, which has an ELL program for its large Japanese student population. She asked me to use it for library lessons during Sakura Week when I subbed for her. It’s easy, fun, and totally engaging. Yes, that’s me up there, having a great time!
I’m always signing up for new platforms online. Sometimes it’s like shouting into the void ( Visual.ly?) but usually I learn something exciting that has applications to education.
I signed up for Vook a few months ago and heard back from them earlier this week about getting a beta tester account and taking training. I just finished the training and am impressed with the ease and flexibility of this tool.
As librarians and graduate students, we know that citations are the basis of scholarship. Academic careers are made and broken on the strength of citations (academics track citations of their own work, which increases their influence and value).
But what about high school students? Yes, they need to know how to cite and make bibliographies for papers, and it’s a tool to consider plagiarism. But what do students actually learn from citations?
Enhanced versions of novels and nonfiction are coming out in ebooks and ipad apps. Penguin calls their ipad app of On the Road an “amplified edition.” These apps can be preloaded in library ipads, and librarians can keep their students informed about free apps (like this one from the British Library) to download on personal devices.
Richard Byrne writes a great blog called Free Technology for Teachers, and also writes a column for School Library Journal. Byrne has put together a handy book of technologies that I’ll be taking a look at this summer. I’ll be familiar with some of them, but there’s always something new to learn. Thank you, Richard Byrne.