My Digital Natives & Yours... shaping how we teach 5 years later

Since I’ve been spending my ACRL conference weekend taking care of my digital natives, rather than talking about them with colleagues, I decided to go back and read through Prensky’s first digital native article from 2001.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5).
The pdf article and many others by Prensky are available on his website … here

The article itself reads like the first chapter out of Prensky 2006 book, Don’t Bother Me Mom, but that’s a good thing. The tone and content of his article still rings true today, over 5 years later. In fact, his message is even more important today because these are the students we are seeing at all levels of education. How Prensky describes these digital natives is not dramatically different than the published literature on “millennials.” But I prefer the term “digital native” because it is not just about the current generation, the term and the learning strategies attached to it apply to all generations to come that have grown up with technology.

Digital natives (ie. Our students) prefer information that comes faster, is less step-by-step, and has random access points that provide choice and personalization. Prensky points out that this does not mean that we dumb down what we teach to make it more appealing, in fact the opposite is true, it makes the content less appealing. These strategies do not change the “what” – core content, critical thinking, but it does change the “how.” Prensky encourages educators to get rid of teaching “slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously.” Start thinking about those gaming strategies mentioned before and above and a more engaged classroom.

Baby steps to success with digital natives...

My 3 year old is finally doing better, his appetite is back and he can breath pretty easily. Unfortunately, my 1.5 year old now has it. I had planned to post yesterday, but a toddler with pneumonia is not a fun time. I think we caught it sooner than his brother though, so hopefully it will not get as bad. Since I’ve been at home for the last three days focusing on my digital natives, I wanted to review some of Marc Prensky's work.

Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8-13.

Prensky’s article ties in nicely with my suggestions of starting small in the classroom. Prensky’s discusses teaching strategies that can be successful with current students (digital natives); engagement before content, decision making encouraged, input from students about teaching process and the ability to be adaptive in the classroom. The ideas themselves are rooted in the student’s experiences with games and technology (I almost put “digital technology” but then I realized how much of a “digital immigrant” that made me sound).

Prensky makes the important point that we need to design our lessons to mirror the same type of goal orientated motivation, choice, immediate feedback, and “leveling up.” While I’m still not sure how to work “leveling up” into information literacy sessions (*cough* discussion point *cough*), I’ve been able to incorporate the other gaming strategies into traditional sessions with a high degree of success. Of course “success” is relevant and I’m still working to improve the sessions, but those “baby steps” I talked about last time work.

Baby steps out the door... baby steps in the classroom... baby steps to success

King, B.R. (2007). Think small! A beginner’s guide to using technology to promote learning. Educause Quarterly. Retrieved January 27, 2007, from

King doesn’t focus on video games, but does provide sound advance educators looking to start using any technology, including games, to enhance student’s learning. King focus is on four goals: small goals, smaller chunks of content, refined searches, and small classroom cases.

While this message is not revolutionary and rather practical, it provides a good jumping off point for those looking to get started using games and game strategies in the classroom. I used this message to emphasis the success that I’ve had within instruction sessions in my presentation. While I’m very excited and interested in using games to teach and experience information literacy, those are long term projects. We can be very successful starting small in our own classrooms. If we “start small” and apply gaming strategies to our existing information literacy program and classroom setting we can be successful in creating more engaging and meaning learning experiences. Start small, target a few gaming strategies, include traditional outcomes and you will enhance your students learning experience.

I’ve included three examples of how it can be successful in the “Begin your quest” section of my presentation last week.

Game-based learning... let the annotations begin

Since I'm sticking around this weekend nursing my sick son, who is thankfully sleeping right now, I'll be finally digging back into the articles I've been using and sharing some thoughts on the. So without further ado...

Foreman, J. (2004). Game-based learning: How to delight and instruct in the 21st century. Educause Review, 39(5), 50-66.

The article itself is a little dated, but Foreman interviewed James Paul Gee, J.C. Herz (author of Joystick Nation), Randy Hinrichs, Marc Prensky (Don’t Bother me Mom), and Ben Sawyer (organizer of the first Serious Games Summit) on a variety of topics including the challenges of traditional instruction, the benefits of video games for learning, and the development of game-based learning communities. The article is available for free through Educause’s archive.

Both Hinrichs and Gee discuss learning through context clues and information that can be directly applied to the immediate game situation. Gee draws the significance that we learn through experiences and interactions with our world. Gee states he, as he does in his own book, that games provide verbal information close to the time when you see how it works and apply it. This connection provides meaning and lasting understanding to those playing. This same concept has applied to successful information literacy sessions for years. Librarians do not want to teach research skills and evaluation strategies in a vacuum to students. We want our sessions tied to assignments where they will apply these skills and thus attach more meaning to them.

Hinrichs and Prensky later discuss how games required frequent decision makings at rapid speeds and to think critically about each of those choices. Again this is what we want within information literacy; students using critical thinking skills to make frequent decisions to evaluate the content they are reading. If we can use games to help teach information literacy, our students can learn critical thinking /decision making process through playing the game. Rather than simply walking our students through worksheets and step by step examples, games open up the experience and help our students learn not through instruction by through experience.

Well, this started as an annotation of the article, but turned more to reflection and application. Oh well, I encourage you to check out the article if you haven’t already read it. And if you have what struck you as useful and relevant?

Pneumonia & Pneu plans... no ACRL

Yes, that's right. My hyping and excitement about going to the ACRL conference is all for naught. Okay, so I never really hyped it too much here, but I was looking forward to blogging about the University of Cincinnati's gaming presentation and GW's presentation on their info lit. game - Muckrakers.

My son has pneumonia and now on his 3rd round of antibiotics to try and stop it and is looking at a hospital stay. And so, no ACRL for me. Honestly, I'd rather be with my sick son.

So instead of me blogging about the presentations... here are a few shots (the first pictures of me on this blog since 2005) presenting last week.

Looking back & racing forward...

Every site about good blogging strategies or articles about "How to keep visiting coming back" always state that the author should have a good core content ready after an initial visit to keep readers coming back. Well I meant to have some posts over the weekend for people who attended my conference presentation on Friday, but a 3 year old with 102 degree fever, a 1 year old getting teeth and a wife with the flu put things on hold.

So regardless if you are new here or reading for a while, now is a good time to look back and highlight some useful older posts that focus on instruction, games and our role as librarians.

Let's start off back in the fall with a post that would become the foundation for my application of gaming strategies. I followed up that post with 5 steps for using games, some of which I echoed in my presentation. The analysis and similarities about "Why Our Attempts Fail" in both research and in gaming is another starting point for gaming application.

Last fall, I wrote a series of posts (starting here) reflecting on the results of using open ended game strategies for a research writing review session. The results really opened my eyes about how we teach and how we could teach. I included some student reaction and comments in the final post as well. There are also some detailed notes on my branching / decision tree lecture and my branching "choose your own adventure" article search from this spring as well.

Finally, there are is a post on how frustration playing games can help non-gamers understand what our students might go through with library interfaces.

Take a few moments to dig back through the last few months here at Research Quest.
I'd love to get your comments on these ideas and any others you want to share.

If you were left wanting more... welcome

Welcome to everyone from today’s session at Iowa ACRL. I hope you take a few moments to explore, read, comment, & come back. You might as well sign up for the RSS feed while you are here too. Thank you for coming to the session and I hope that we can work together to find ways to integrate games and gaming strategies in your instruction sessions.

My sessions went pretty well. I co-presented with another librarian in the morning on instruction, curriculum mapping and the assessment process. It went very smoothly and we both received a lot of positive feedback. Then in the afternoon, I got to change direction and focus in on video games and education. If you haven’t checked out the power point and handout yet, please do so.

There were 33 people in attendance for my session on video game strategies in information literacy, but considering I was in the last timeslot of the day and my morning session had 38 people – the 5 person difference wasn’t too bad. The presentation went surprisingly smoothly, the branching paths worked really well and I felt I was able to cover all the key points and weave the thematic elements through each segment in order to make the progression feel natural. The attendees did jump around a little; from gaming stats to what other libraries are doing then back to educational strategies and finally to what I’m doing. But as a whole, I was able to keep them engaged, chuckling a little and still focus their attention in through changes in movement and voice. Looking back on it, I really wish it would have been recorded – so that I could share it & critique myself (always teaching afterall)

My only negative from the session was that I had a really hard time reading the audience. There were clearly times when almost all of them appeared engaged but there were other times when I could make out if they were focused, skeptical or just tired at the end of the day. So if you were there and are reading this… I’d love to get your feedback.

Grand Theft Information Literacy - Slideshow

Here is the slide show for my presentation at the Iowa ACRL conference. It's focus is three fold: provide a framework of why games are relevant in education and in libraries; present how some libraries are using games; describe successful ways the University of Dubuque has started small. It's expanded quite a bit from the inital outline, so I'd love to get your thoughts and feedback.

One of the unique features is that after the quiz, the map slide allows the presenter and the auidence to jump to any group of slides. I wanted to set up the random access and open ended nature of the presentation to give the auidence some personalization and allow them to see how incorporating simple game strategies works within a lecture.

You can view/download it... here.
(It's another click through to the wordpress blog & it's about 7 MB)

Handouts on the house

Here is the handout for my presentation at the Iowa ACRL conference. The presentation has a three-fold focus: provide a framework of why games are relevant in education and in libraries; present how some libraries are using games; describe successful ways the University of Dubuque has started small.

I wanted the handout to be something fun but also something to use as a practical worksheet.
Download/View it... here

I'm going to try and get the Power Point slides loaded later tonight.

...And onto recovery

My son had a very quick and successful surgey this morning. He was very brave for a 3 year old. Between the surgey and the recovery room, we were in and out in about 4 hours. He's drinking liquids, loving the chocolate shakes, and eager to play some more DS with Mario and the "mean mushrooms."

On a professional note, I spent the time waiting during surgey talking with our church pastor (he came to see our son and we were pleasantly surprised that he stayed) about research and applications for video games in education. We talked about my presentation to the local seminary and he wondered if I would be willing to put together a presentation for parents about video games awareness (violence, ratings, media savy) and education. As a researcher and parent, I jumped at the chance. I excited to be able to use my research to help parents be more informed and more engaged with their child's learning & playing through gaming. I'll be looking to Andrew over at Gamerdad for some help on this one.

Going under the knife

I've spent the all of today bouncing between reference questions and running through my conference presentations. The game strategies presentation is getting close to ready - the content is all there, now it's just a matter of polishing it up. I should have it posted and available for you by Thursday.

I'll probably be offline tomorrow, since my 3 year is going into surgery for his tonsils and adenoids. Wish him luck and a quick recovery.

Kept coming back for more...

I'm working away tonight on my presentation, fleshing out the details and getting slides ready. Sorry for the lack of formatting on the outline, I tried but I'm blaming Blogger.

I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on the experience of using the U.N. Food Force game during the famine this weekend. We used 2 different components from the Food Force game, "energy pack" and "future farming." Both games were followed by discussions on what they thought and learned by playing. I also used the lesson plan materials provided to help lead the discussion. The feedback by all the students was overwhelmingly positive. I got a lot of "ya, it was pretty good." But the real surprise about how they liked it was that they all kept going back to it in order to get a better score. Some even played around with the other missions and explored more content.

Although we all agreed that the fake Asian accent in the game was in poor taste, everyone was engaged in playing (and re-playing) and discussing afterward. The game and discussion turned out to be a great introduction for the guest speaker who focused on world hunger issues. The game gave them more of a context for what the speaker had to say.

Although the games are targeted at Middle and High School, college students could still get some use out of them. Each mission is brief and creates a good jumping off point for classroom discussion.

Getting Ready to Go

This Friday I'm presenting at our state ACRL conference, and since I'm getting ready I thought I'd share my outline with you. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. Your feedback was helpful the last time and I look forward to your suggestions.

I. Gaming Literacy Test

II. Why games?

a. Who’s playing

i. Nielsen stats

ii. Pew research on college students

b. Educational aspects of games

i. Gee

ii. American Federation of Scientists

iii. Johnson & Prensky

iv. Van Eck

v. Halverson, Richard

II. What Libraries are doing

a. Quiz games – UNC

i. Review activity, instruction benefits

ii. Sample questions

iii. Words of caution – Matt Weise

b. Flash based – AZ State University

i. Objectives

ii. Screen shots

iii. “words of wisdom” from development team

c. University of Cincinnati

i. Online gaming tutorial

ii. Screen Shots

iii. Presenting at ACRL

d. George Washington’s “Muckrackers” game

i. Description

ii. Words of caution – LOEX attendee

iii. Presenting at ACRL

III. Starting Small - University of Dubuque

a. “Think Small” – King, B.R.

b. Website Evaluation

i. Gaming strategies used

ii. ACRL Standards

iii. Classroom activity

iv. Feedback (+/-)

c. Research Review

i. Gaming Strategies used

ii. ACRL Standards

iii. Classroom activity

iv. Student feedback

c. Hotel Dusk

i. Gaming Strategies used

ii. ACRL standards

iii. Feedback

IV. What You Can Do

a. Small Steps

b. ID courses

c. Be creative

d. Have fun

Hunger Force - Game or Lecture?

It’s been a productive week here at Research Quest as you can tell from the posts. And the fun doesn’t stop yet. Friday night I’m joining my wife and her senior high youth group at church for a 30 hour famine. Actually the famine starts in just a few minutes at 7:00 am on Friday morning, but we are spending the night and morning together as a group. I’m mentioning this because we will be using the U.N. Hunger Force game as one of our activities, in addition to playing a lot of DDR and Guitar Hero.

The Hunger Force game has a lot of really good hunger and world relief content, but much of the “game” feels tacked onto to an informational video. Because of this, we are only going to use 2 of the 6 units/levels within the game. Unit #2 focuses on providing a balance nutritional ratio for food packets and unit #6 provides long term sustainability planning for relief areas of the world. Most of the other units provide game related mechanics, but they are not central to the experience. Regardless of these critiques, it is still worth checking out U.N. Hunger Force.

This idea of a game tacked on to traditional content is, according to my interview with Matthew Weise tonight, one of the biggest pitfalls of educational games. According to Matt, games are great to teach process. Students learn through the process of doing and understanding why they are taking those actions. But just jumping from one cut scene or dialogue to another is just like putting “medicine in the applesauce.” Hiding dry and dull content within a “fun” game experience will never be successful.

Check out my write up over at Bibliographic Gaming (posting Saturday due to Famine) and make sure to check back in here this weekend for my full transcript of my interview with Matt.

Gaming Quest - Slideshow

I started my interview with Matt Weise tonight, only to learn that he was still traveling home from work. So, while I'm waiting - which I don't mind doing (although I'm both excited and nervous for the interview) - I'll post up my powerpoint slides from my guest lecture last week at Wartburg Theological Seminary to a class of future pastor's and youth ministers.

Download or view the slideshow... here

I had to create a blog in order to post a file, since Blogger doesn't allow it... So please follow the click through.

Top 10 Research Findings...

Now that GDC is past, some of the content from the sessions is finding it's way onto the web. Here is a link (via Chris Kohler's post at Wired's Game|Life) for a .pdf of the top 10 educational gaming research findings.

The panel included education game developers like Ian Bogost from Water Cooler Games and David Shaffer from the University of Madison and who I've written about before.

Jump to the webpage for the download... here

Image from

Playing 20ish Questions

Here are the list of questions (mine and others) for the interview with Matt Weise Thursday evening. Please feel free to continue to add suggestions or edits.

Matt, you wrote the initial design doc. for the game, how much of it was limited by what the engine could do?
Was the design doc written any differently for a modded engine, compared do writing it for an in-house game?
What limits / restraints did you encounter by modding?
How was character & artistic design impacted through a COTS?
The information and content learned is more import than the gameplay, but how did you structure the game in order to create incentives to progress?

How large was the development team?
How experienced were the team members in development, design or modding?
What were the specific learning objectives designed into the game?
How often did gameplay get sacrificed fro the sake of the learning objectives?
What makes was a COTS engine mod different from licensing another commercial engine?
What challenges did you encounter scripting the NPC?
What limitations of the genre (rpg) did you encounter?
What compromises did you and the team make make?
Did you feel that this compromised their goals beyond what was reasonably acceptable?
Would another genre (or another platform) work better for the content?

Educational Context
How much research was done for the game's story?
What historic licenses were taken?
Unlike commercial game design, where the assessment comes in retail sales, how did you assess the success of the game?
Was the assessment planned and integrated from the beginning or was it tacked on?
Did you assess students' motivation to play the game?
What was known about the target group?
Did those students with previous experience with either the genre or platform, have an easier time 'mastering' the content than those who needed to 'learn' the platform?
How much previous experience playing games at all have any influence on the
students learning the content?

Experience / Recommendations
What would you recommended as potential engines or games to mod?
Which games are the most scalable?
Which have the best support community for modding?
For someone just getting started, what games are the most user-friendly?
Which ones can a newbie work to mod?
What level of experience do you recommend someone enter with?
Which games would be the most affordable?

What else would you want to know about developing educational (library) games?

Sheng Long - Media evaluation

Can you name the first time you realized that something printed/published was intentionally false? Tonight I’m reminded of the first time I realized the importance of evaluating information.

It was 1992, and I was reading the April issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly in my parents’ mini van traveling home. There was a “secret code" that opened up a character in the SNES game Street Fighter II. It sounded exciting and had recently beaten the final boss. I studied the code all the way home and tried it again and again that night. It was only the next day that I realized the story was an April fools joke. I can distinctly remember the "ah-ha" feeling that I needed to think about where information was coming from.

Over the weekend I saw a story about the new EGM breaking news about a new Kingdom Hearts game on the Wii featuring Mario. I was interested to know more
but few other sites picked up the story. Joystiq did here, and covered it as another April fool's story. There's even a Wikipedia entry for all of EGM's jokes, including the Sheng Long article that fooled me.

So tonight as I looked through the most recent issue, I did it with my librarian hat on. "What were the signs that the article was faked?" "Where is the additional evidence?" "Why does the image look doctored?"

Gaming was shaping my information literacy skills long before I even knew what the words to describe it.

Matthew Weise interview

Do you have any questions that you answered about modding commercial games for education?
If so, please let me know.

I'm thankful to Matthew Weise for agreeing to do a phone interview later this week.

Here's the link again to the GDC session. The idea of modding an existing game engine for some information literacy skills is appealing to me. Information about benefits & pitfalls that Matthew and his team ran into with Revolution will be very useful to anyone thinking about modding for educational games.

The runner up is...

Even though Steffen's Walz's Playbe's Playce didn't win the "People's Choice" award over at SXSW, I'm still excited he was considered. I blogged about his website back in December and had a traded emails with him over the Holidays. I really think his site design has a lot of interesting applications for navigating subject guides through games.

If you haven't checked out Walz's work, please do so here. The idea of navigating through content via games is a novel way to reach students in what traditionally can be pretty dry content.

For further reading...

I had some really good conversations with Andrew over at Gamerdad on Thursday and Friday. Gamerdad post his reading list last week and we had some back and forth about our research areas. I greatly respect Andrew's work over at Gamerdad and continue to recommend it to any parents with kids and video games. That being said, I was happy to be able to suggest some additional resources for his research. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with the title "Gamerdad's Librarian."

Our conversation got me thinking about my own gaming research. This weekend I took a break from strictly educational applications of games in order to dig a little into gaming theory and other issues. Here's what I've been reading this weekend. I'll post some thoughts and annotations early this week.

Caillois, R. (2001). Man, play, and games (M.Barash, Trans.). University of Illinois Press:Urbana. (Original work published 1958).

Juul, J. (2005). Half-Real: Video games between real rules and fictional worlds. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Koster, R. (2005). A theory of fun for game design. Scottsdale, AZ: Paraglyph Press.

Schechter, H. (2005). Savage pastimes: A cultural history of violent entertainment. New York: St. Martin's Press.

edit: I started this post late last night, but I fell asleep on the floor of my boy's room trying to get one back to sleep without waking the other.

Catching up with GDC

The Game Developers Conference has been going on all week. I've been keeping up on the news stories, but haven't had a chance to blog about them. Here are some of the stories and coverage I've read this week that fit nicely with game based learning and using games in education. The first two days of GDC were set aside for a Mobile games summit and a Serious Games Summit. The Serious Games Summit produced some good data, but not as much coverage as I hoped.

- Serious Game Summit Reflections - These posts are off Henry Jenkins’ MIT blog, but they are not written by Henry. The author is at GDC and provides some of the more detailed coverage I’ve read this week

- Bartman’s blogging his experience at GDC. He’s written reflections on each session he attended – all with a focus on serious games and game based learning. There are some I found more useful, but all are interesting.

- Colonial Williamsburg: Revolution Postmortem - How Commercial Game Engines Affect Pedagogical Design

The creators of the Neverwinter Nights : Revolution mod gave a GDC presentation on Monday afternoon, but I haven’t found any news or posts about it. I was really looking forward to hearing about this session since I’ve been reading more and more about their educational game and the idea of modding commercial games for educational purposes. The closest I’ve posts I’ve found come of the Education Arcade site but they are not directly about the session. Has anyone read anything about their session?

- has a story on how laptops for 3rd world countries opens the door for educational gaming and learning.

-The team over at Wired’s Game|Life are blogging all week long. They have a few key stories that fit in here:

How to make games that appeal to non hardcore gamers (or the other 90% of people who play)... article here

Here is Kohler's reactions to Sony announcement of the "Home" social networking features for the PS3.

I heard about the Sony's social networking ideas through's podcast on Wednesday night. If you haven't heard about it, read Kohler's thoughts and then head over to Jenny Levine's theshiftedlibrarian to read her comments. Jenny's post is on the mark about the growing importance of social networking and the commercial success it could see.

What are you reading about GDC?

Game Literacy Quiz

Here is part of the video game literacy quiz that I gave the class today. Each slide provided us with a variety of talking points about the games / systems featured and the culture around them. Each image is clickable if you want a closer look. Also any % on responses are what the class answered... what would you answer?

There were a few other questions... but I've hit Bloggers limit... I'll put the full quiz in the notes tonight.

Reaching out to religion...

I just got back from my class guest lecture. It went pretty well. I wish I had more time at the end for questions, but we had some discussion during the class. I'm throwing a few quick comments and reflections up now, but I'll post more later including: gaming literacy quiz, content notes, and a bibliography.

There were 3 goals to my session with these future pastors and youth ministers:
1) Build their personal awareness of video games and gaming culture
2) Discover educational uses and positive applications for games in their churches
3) Increase their awareness of both the positive and negatives of games - in order to engage parents

Their assignment was to play a video game. One second career student sat down with his 5th grader to play together for the first time. They had a blast together and he's now looking at ways of bringing gaming into their confirmation classes. As a parent and educator, I love that.

Coming to a church near you... gaming

Gaming at church? Yes.
Youth group gaming nights? Yes.
Video games can teach? Of course.
Games as immoral and wasteful? Not on our watch.

A few months ago I was asked by the Library Director of a local seminary to be a guest lecturer. She was teaching a course on technology in ministry and wanted to include video games. I jumped at the chance and now I'm putting the finishing touches on the class session. The purpose is to build awareness and provide possibilities for these future pastors to use and discuss video games in their congregations.

Here is my outline for my class - any feedback would be great:

I. Gaming Literacy Test

a. Awareness builder / Conversation starter

c. Reaching players where they are at

II. Video Game statistics – “Explore the world”

a. Who’s playing

i. Nielsen household data

ii. Pew internet research

iii. Video game report card

iv. Adults playing too

III. What games teach us – “Recruiting your Party”

a. Learning

i. Prensky, Gee, and a host of others

ii. American Federation of Scientists

b. Social Play

i. Man, Play, and Games

ii. Focus on social interaction

IV. Gaming applications in Ministry – “Conquer your World”

a. Youth Group

i. Gaming nights

ii. Social outreach

iii. Opening a dialog

b. Generational Gaps

i. Youth / Mentor

ii. Parent / Child

c. Serious Games

i. Darfur is Dying

ii. UN Disater Game

iii. Educational games

V. Christian games – “Leveling Up”

a. The right path – why Christian games are worthwhile

b. The hidden path – Failings of Christian games

c. The shadow opponent – violence in Christian games

VI. Violence in video – “The Final Boss”

a. Parent perceptions

b. Research data

c. Parental involvement

d. Awareness and Education

VII. End Credits…Too be Continued…

a. Additional sources

b. Further exploration

Found It!

After spending the last 42 hours searching for my wedding ring... I found it. After 5 years of marriage I've never misplaced my ring for longer than 2 minutes. Our family (3 year-old included) spent our free time (hence no new blog posts) searching every corner, crack, drawer, trash can, and vent possible.

Thankfully, it's found and I'm not taking it off any time soon.

Now I can leave my guilt behind and focus on something other than scourging my house and surrounding area.

Gotta Love It - Video Game Politics

It's been a busy week here, over the past 5 days our Info Lit team of 4 librarians conducted 35 research class sessions. Not a bad run and overall pretty successful. We used Turning Point for some of our sessions to gain additional feedback from the students, and created more open ended workshops, but really didn't focus on tying in gaming strategies. As much as I would have loved to play around with the structure, with up to 11 sessions in one day just keeping the logistics of multiple classrooms flowing smoothly eat up most of my time.

My light at the end of the tunnel came today while working with a couple Public Speaking classes. The class assignment is to locate and create a persuasive speech arguing for a current bill in Congress. I love this assignment and my background (2 years working in the MN House of Representatives, 00-01) gives me a lot to talk about with our students. At the end of the day today, I had an enjoyable interaction with two students doing Senator Brownback's "Truth in Video Game Ratings" bill, S.568.

We had a good discussion about both sides of the issue and what the "real" intent of the legislation. It was interesting to hear the student's perspective on requiring the ESRB to play through all game content before issuing a rating. There were students on both sides of the issue and we ended up having a discussion about games as an entertainment media. The students were able find a variety of quality sources, including has a good intro on the bill here.

photo by pianoforte, via