Youth Tech











{October 11, 2007}   More MySpace for Parents

We are teaching a new MySpace for Parents class tomorrow evening in partnership with a local television station who will be capturing footage. That show is set to air on Oct. 26, and at that time I will post more information about the show and its results. I would suggest that your library, school & community center consider doing regular workshops for parents on various social networking sites that youth utilize in their growth & play. Parents need to be in the know and more comfortable with the use of these tools in youth development.

In the next few weeks I will also post more information on the development of a series of workshops for parents on various social networking tools, gaming technologies and Internet safety that we will be offering with another Charlotte community media partner.



{May 18, 2007}   Game Lab Announcement

We just announced Tuesday at our Technology Summit that we will be developing a “Game Lab” here at PLCMC. The “Game Lab” will open in Virtual Village at Main Library this summer. We will be making a more formal announcement and splash this summer. The lab will be a first for public libraries. Initially, it will work with the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Youth Digital Arts CyberSchool (www.ydacs.com); and Capcom Entertainment, Inc (www.capcom.com). We will also be partners in Syracuse University’s Library Game Lab (http://gamelab.syr.edu) with the American Library Association, along with individuals at the University of Illinois and OCLC.

The Game Lab will work with library customers, the community in general, universities, organizations and corporations to develop programs and services that increase digital literacy through games and interactive media. The lab will educate the public about the benefits of gaming and interactive media usage and creation.

For more information contact Matt Gullett, Emerging Technology Manager: mgullett@plcmc.org.

Also, if you plan on attending ALA Annual in DC plan to go to the PLA Technology session on Wiking the Blog, Walking the Dog: Social Software and Authority Everywhere, and I intend to discuss and tease out more about the lab then.

 

 

 



{December 6, 2006}   YouthLearn’s 100 Big Things …

YouthLearn’s 100 Big Things in Youth, Technology & Education

If you are working with youth in any capacity that touches upon either technology & education you need to read through this list (http://www.youthlearn.org/resources/newsletter/issue100.html),
print it out and use it in planning your activities for the next year or so. Following are a few things that I pulled out of the list that looked interesting.

4. Text Messaging & IM
20. Wikipedia
21. YouTube
23. MySpace.com

32. Gaming & Education
33. Global Kids Online Game Project
34. Girls Creating Games
35. Second Life

39. Youth Civic Engagement & Technology
56. MediaRights.org
78. NAMAC’s Youth Resources
94. Youth & Media

Check out the newsletter list for descriptions and links to further resources.
http://www.youthlearn.org/resources/newsletter/issue100.html



TOYChallenge

I ran across this the other day and wanted to pass it along. Founded in 2001 Sally Ride Science’s mission is to empower girls to explore the world of science. They have recently announced the TOYchallenge. It is a toy design challenge for imaginative boys and girsl that are 5-8th graders to create a new toy or game. They go on to state that “(t)Toys are a great way to learn about science, engineering, and the design process! As girls and boys create a toy or game, they experience engineering as a fun, creative, collaborative process, relevant to everyday life.”

For more information: http://www.toychallenge.com/abouttc.shtml



{October 13, 2006}   Teen Second Life

The Alliance Library System (ALS) and the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) have announce a partnership to offer a culutural and informational service on an island in Teen Second Life. The Eye4You Alliance Island’s leadership comes from, Lori Bell (Director of Innovation at ALS), Kelly Czarnecki (Teen Librarian at ImaginOn of PLCMC) and Matt Gullett (Technology Education Librarian at ImaginOn of PLCMC). They are just at the beggining stages of developing this innovative service and welcome interested partners to submit a statement of interest to either Kelly Czarnecki (kczarnecki@plcmc.org) or Matt Gullett (mgullett@plcmc.org).

See a full press release here: Eye4UAlliance.



Experts meet with Congress to discuss how afterschool programs that teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through fun, engaging activities such as computer programming, robotics, and 3-D digital animation. The briefing was sponsored by the Coalition for Science After School, the Afterschool Alliance, the National
Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics in conjunction with the Senate and House Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Caucuses and the Senate and House
Afterschool Caucuses. For more information on STEM and afterschool check out: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/news_events.cfm#4000491



{September 27, 2006}   Pew Study and Virtual Worlds

Check out the recent post by Kelly Czarnecki on YALSA’s blog about the recently released Pew Internet Study. She brings up some good questions and possible issues about virtual worlds and video/computer games. Are/can virtual worlds and video/computer games addictive? What role within libraries can we maintain within such a conversation and concern?



{September 25, 2006}   Youth Game Creation

In the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to speak at several conferences, symposia, meetings, etc. about the emergence of gaming activities and programs within our youth serving organizations, especially libraries and technology centers. My passion about this activity lies in the desire of youth to create things, especially games, films and related media. I’ve recommended several tools that an organization can use in offering these learning opportunities with little or no understanding of the film or game making process.

One excellent resource in this topic area is the Youth Digital Arts Cyberschool-YDACS (www.ydacs.com). YDACS offers a whole suite of online courses and software. One can learn how to create games, digital art, music and manga. They have been working with youth for several years now in creating their own games. In fact, last March they held their first Youth Video Game Design Festival in the San Diego area. Check them out and take a tour of the cyberschool.

There are other similar services, organizations and companies out there that are doing this. Although YDACS is the only one that I have found to provide a set number of courses and some thought out curricula for such an endeavor. Another product that might also be of some use to those interested in exploring this educational service is Game Maker www.gamemaker.nl. Game Maker has a book and a forum and tuturial sites that help you learn how to use the software to create games. It also is relatively inexpensive.

Then recently Microsoft announced that they will be selling their XNA Game Studio Express program for a $99 annual subscription. It states that it will enable individuals and small teams to more easily create video games using new, optimized cross-platform gaming libraries for Windows and Xbox 360. This beta release targets the development of games for Windows. The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be available this holiday season and will enable development of games which target Windows and upon purchase of a XNA Creators Club subscription, the Xbox 360 as well. Now this is a bit on the advanced level and might require a little more of a resource expenditure that the two mentioned above.

If you have other software, products, organizations, methods, tricks that you or your organization has used to offer similar educational opportunities/experiences to youth please post a comment and I will make sure to include them.



et cetera