Youth Tech











{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.

 

 

 

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{April 14, 2007}   Computers in Libraries 2007

Howdy,

I’m back, and tomorrow I’m off to do a couple talks at the Computers in Libraries Conference.

Building Libraries in Virtual Worlds
Lori Bell, Director, Innovation, Alliance Library System
Matt Gullett, Emerging Technology Manager, &
Kelly Czarnecki, Teen Librarian, Imaginon, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library
Tom Peters, CEO, TAP Information Services

Virtual worlds such as Second Life, Active Worlds, and World of Warcraft are growing at amazing and increasing rates. These presenters will talk about their experiences, challenges, and successes in creating a library presence in Second Life for adults and teens. Involvement for all types of libraries will be discussed as well as how your library can get involved in these projects or start your own. A growing number of users are on the Internet in the virtual worlds. Libraries need to be there, too.

Tech Freebies & Program Ideas
Janie Hermann, Technology Training Librarian &
Robert Keith, Tech Aide, Princeton Public Library (PPL)
Matt Gullett, Emerging Technology Manager &
Robin Bryan,
Technology Education Manager, ImaginOn, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

Discover how you can take one innovative program and turn it in to the cornerstone for a broader range of technology training for both the public and your library staff. Hermann and Keith, PPL’s technology teaching team, talk about the Fantastic Freebies program they used to jumpstart their 2.0 Technologies Training initiative. This program, in which staff and patrons are trained together, is expanding monthly with great success. They illustrate with a quick tour some of the hottest freebies and examine a few of the newest and most useful tools to keep you on the cutting edge of technology. Gullett and Bryan discuss new ideas and perspectives for any sized library and budget to place in your teens’ and tweens’ programming portfolio. They provide lots of resources, including ideas, sites, program plans, software, and hardware recommendations on technology oriented programs to offer in your own environment.

We will also be demonstrating the new portable animation station that John Lemmon built for ImaginOn and PLCMC. Here is the Handout for the program.

Portable Animation Station



{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



{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