Saturday, January 20, 2007

Youth, Technology, Gaming, and the Library

If you work with kids and teens, it is important to keep up with what technology. If you work in a low-tech environment, you might not be aware of some innovative programs that are offered through some public libraries. I thought I'd share some of the exciting things that are happening in my region, spearheaded by Matt Gullet, the Director of Emerging Technology at the PLCMC (Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg) and Kelley Czarnecki, a teen librarian.

Matt maintains the "Youth and Technology" blog. This blog focuses on the use of technology " in creative ways to enrich the lives of youth". This is a great resource!

Matt and Kelley are involved in the Teen Second Life Project and recently wrote the cover article of a recent School Library Journal, "Meet the New You".

More info:

"Charlotte, NC - Oct. 6, 2006 - The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) and the Alliance Library System are pleased to announce a partnership to collaborate on the "Eye4You Alliance," an island in Teen Second Life that will offer virtual library services to teens.

Teen Second Life is a 3-D, international gathering place on the Internet where teens 13-17 can make friends, play, learn and create. Teens create a digital version of themselves, called an avatar, that they use to travel around the "virtual world," meet new people and participate in a variety of activities.

The goal of "Eye4You Alliance" is to create an interactive and informative space for young adults within the Teen Second Life virtual world and to collaborate with other educators who serve youth and are already present in Teen Second Life and in real life.

"At a time when many libraries are offering collaborative spaces through social tools, a 3-D immersive environment is the next logical step to libraries remaining relevant to teenagers," said Helene Blowers, director of Information Technology at PLCMC. "This project is an opportunity to engage teens in services and activities that will excite them in a place they already are." -Second Life Library Blog (Note - the Second Life Library Blog was recently moved to InfoIsland.org)

GAMING AT THE LIBRARY!

The PLCMC offers teen gaming events at various libraries throughout the county, and a Gaming Zone for all ages at the main library's Virtual Village. The library has a set of new AlienWare laptop computers, used for LAN parties:









more pictures of the Game Zone program

Comment:

I'd like to see the library purchase Dimenxian, a 3D game that teaches Algebra. It has multiplayer capabilities, so it would be great on the new AlienWare LAN system. For more information, see the Tabula Digita site.



ImaginOn, the children and teen's main library, offers many opportunities that involve technology, including a video production studio,
Studio i. The library offers workshops such as " Take Photos for Your Webpage" , "Make MySpace Photos Come to Life", and events such as a Dance Dance Revolution tournament, Family Gaming Night, and video game club meetings.

If you don't know what is going on at the library these days, I urge you to find out. Share this information with parents, colleagues, and the young people in your life.

-Lynn




2 comments:

Jeremy Perez-Cruz said...

Hi Lynn. I had a brief moment to read through a few of your posts and, I must say, they are fantastic. Its exciting to see someone so passionate about what they do (not to mention the blog layout is very nice)!

On the topic of Youth and Technology, My design firm is creating the interactive portion of the CSI traveling exhibit, geared towards teens. Kids will be able to collect data from crime scenes and input it into a data base to cross reference and "solve" the crime. Pretty exciting stuff. I'm sure it will make its way to NC eventually.

Love,
Jeremy

Jeremy Perez-Cruz said...

Hi Lynn. I had a brief moment to read through a few of your posts and, I must say, they are fantastic. Its exciting to see someone so passionate about what they do (not to mention the blog layout is very nice)!

On the topic of Youth and Technology, My design firm is creating the interactive portion of the CSI traveling exhibit, geared towards teens. Kids will be able to collect data from crime scenes and input it into a data base to cross reference and "solve" the crime. Pretty exciting stuff. I'm sure it will make its way to NC eventually.

Love,
Jeremy