Lego and coding

I have to say – I love Lego. When I was a kid and now as an adult, it really is the best. Fun, creative and practical, I could/can spend hours constructing new creations, or following plans to make a model. Even the Lego movie was amazing!

And I have just seen some of their new products, bringing together traditional Lego with high-tech robotics!! So. Cool.

And of course, these would be great for Maker spaces.

Lego Mindstorms aimed at young adults can be seen here, including a video demo.

Lego Boost, aimed at kids (7+), comes with a companion app to teach coding. Check it out here.

Even as an adult, these funky little robots look like so much fun to build and play with! I hope I can find an excuse to give these a go soon 🙂

 

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Minecraft: Education edition

In case you’ve been living under a very square pixelated rock, Minecraft is a super popular game amongst the young ones.

Many libraries have utilised this game in their makerspaces, and now the company has announced the Minecraft Education edition.

The game that promotes creativity, collaboration and problem-solving is pretty awesome, and I am a keen supporter of gamification in schools and libraries, so I am very excited to see this expanded version.

The classroom version will include a camera that allows students to create portfolios, chalkboards for instructions, starer worlds, and in-game characters who exist only to help players out. They’ll also offer teachers lessons in how to get the most out of Minecraft’s teaching opportunities. [states Vocativ]

I wish I was still a student so I could learn by play using Minecraft, instead of the big heavy old textbooks I had!!

If you would like to know more about gamification in libraries and education, a division of the American Library Association has a nice summary article to read.

More specifically, the American Association of Law Libraries has published an article about the rewards and risks of gamification.

My Youth Programs & Ideas (Engaging Youth in Libraries Part 2)

One of my favourite things about working in a high school library is using my creativity to engage the students to come in and enjoy our collections and events. I want them to view the library as a safe haven, and a fun place to spend their time. I want them to know they can come to the library whenever they want to relax, read, play, or need help with school stuff. This post will discuss the programs I have run, and some ideas I have for the future to continue to engage youth in the library.

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Library @ The Dock Youth Unconference – ‘Outside the Lines’ (and Part 1 on Engaging Youth in Libraries)

The ‘Outside the Lines’ Youth Unconference at the Library at the Dock (unconference – “a loosely structured conference emphasizing the informal exchange of information and ideas between participants, rather than following a conventionally structured programme of events”) was an amazing experience. It was totally free and even provided morning and afternoon tea. The presenters were all young and had interesting insights. It was held in a beautiful location on a wonderful sunny day. I had a blast!

Their unconference description:“It is your chance to gain insight into what young adults are interested in, how libraries can support and collaborate with them and how we can broaden our thinking about young people into a more creative, flexible and innovative framework that will take libraries outside the lines. By participating you will have the opportunity to: Hear first-hand from young people and their experiences with the library and community organisations.”

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