As an educator, don’t you just love it when a child turns to you after completion of a carefully planned learning activity and says, “Wow, that was fun!” Learning should be fun. And if it is fun, it’s more likely to stick! As we design lessons and plan instruction, we constantly look to add to our educator’s toolkit. How do we engage children in meaningful learning activities–ones that many times “trick” them into learning? Well, one answer is through the use of games.
I am so excited that AASL is partnering with ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table to co-sponsor GAME | Gaming As Meaningful Education, in Rochester, NY, September 23-24. To set the stage, we’ll begin with an evening at The Strong National Museum of Play exploring their Toy Hall of Fame, historic game and puzzle collections, and exhibit on the history of video games.
During the two-day event, we’ll hear keynote speakers Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, and Chris Harris, Director of the Genesee Valley (NY) School Library System. Julie will help us to harness the power of digital learning with gaming, and Chris will focus on teaching through games, addressing how play and games can be embedded as direct-instruction aspects of any classroom or library.
And that’s not all…there are great sessions lined up, from “10 Video Games Every Librarian Should Play” to “Exploring Fun: The What and Why of Game Based Learning” to “En-Twine-d in the Curriculum: Creating Non-Linear Digital Experiences across Content Areas” to “(Role) Playing with History.”
As school librarians, we help children to think, create, share, and grow. We plan learning activities in our libraries that allow our students to exercise creativity, problem solve, think critically, and explore their curiosity. We also work with our teachers to help them strengthen and enhance their instruction. Games can play a key role, and we can be game-changers for teaching and learning! Board games, role-playing games, video games, and online games, from low-tech to high-tech, from hands-on to virtual, engage students in learning.
GAME | Gaming As Meaningful Education promises to be an engaging, enlightening two-day event. I can’t wait to be in Rochester September 23-24 to learn more about the educational, recreational, and social value of games. I plan to have fun and learn at the same time! Won’t you join me?