Games in Education or Education in Games – A Gamer’s Perspective

Ever since I could use a computer (which constitutes all of my life that I can remember), I’ve been playing computer games. Although the reason why I’ve played games my whole life has changed over time, the primary reason has always stayed the same—they’re fun. And as early as 1980, educators have been trying to take advantage of that fun by teaching students seemingly every subject under the sun through games.

In my opinion, so many of these games failed because designers made the educational content the primary focus of the game. In essence, the games that they created became not a game at all, but instead became boring attempts at teaching. Then, after losing the status of a game, the newly created tools had no advantage over traditional teaching.

I had first-hand experience with this when I consulted for a video game creation lab as a player tester. The game that I tested was designed to teach students about careers in the medical field by having them play through a zombie outbreak. It failed for the exact reasons outlined above. Its primary focus was the educational content and thus ended up being not a game at all. I had two takeaways from my experience—it was incredibly boring and that if this is where educational games were going, I wanted no part.

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The Lively Librarians, Episode 1: Makerspaces!

Buzzword of the month: makerspaces! We’re seeing TONS of articles, blog posts, and tweets on makerspaces, and for many of you, this is a new concept. Want to learn more about this exciting addition to your school? Check out the first vlog by “The Lively Librarians,” Emily Gover and Michele Kirschenbaum!

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • Why libraries are the ideal environment for makerspaces
  • Resources you will need
  • Common misconceptions about makerspaces
  • Classroom management
  • Funding options
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Resources to Help Students Properly Cite Images

One thing I learned yesterday is that many people do not know how to use images properly in research. And I’m not talking about middle school or high school students, but college students and teachers, too. It’s mind-boggling (and a little frightening) that so many people blindly take images without a second thought of giving credit or understanding ownership.

Librarian Neil Krasnoff led a lively discussion during our PD session yesterday, and our awesome participants had lots of feedback and experiences to share. The general consensus? Most students (and some colleagues) have complete disregard for properly using and citing images in research.

Neil discussed how to find and properly use Creative Commons-licensed images, and shared ways in which he has encouraged his students to properly cite images in their research projects. In case you missed it, we have the webinar recording available on demand:


We’ve also uploaded the chat log from yesterday’s session, with great discussion points and other resources that were shared by fellow librarians.

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How to Teach Students to Effectively Use Images in Research

How many times have you seen students go to Google Images, grab a random photo, and throw it in a presentation or assignment without a second thought of copyright infringement or giving proper credit?

Using images in research assignments is a great way to add visuals and incorporate primary sources to a research project, but how can educators teach students to effectively use and cite them? Join us for our PD webinar tomorrow to find out!

Using Images in Research

Wednesday, June 18 @ 3 PM EDT

Neil Krasnoff, Technology Manager and Media Specialist, will discuss all aspects of instruction related to use and citation of images, from searching for Creative Commons-licensed images to selecting appropriate images for print, online and other types of use.

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