Students play videogames during the grand opening of the Nest, the e-sports facility at University of North Texas in Denton. Photo: Photo: University of North Texas

Wide World of E-Sports

May 1, 2018

The biggest competitions in the world of e-sports—of which the most popular include League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Overwatch—fetch top players millions of dollars in prizes, and in 2017 the industry is estimated to have earned $696 million in revenue. Universities across the country have established e-sports teams, and some of the top … Continue reading Wide World of E-Sports


Students assemble the Ultimate Shootout game from the littleBits Code Kit.

Coding for Fun

May 1, 2018

littleBits Code Kit Little Bits has been used in classrooms and makerspaces for years as a platform for building and experimenting with electronics. The Code Kit, released in summer 2017, is its first education-oriented kit to incorporate simple coding into projects. The kit introduces an LED matrix and a “codeBit” to the littleBits collection of … Continue reading Coding for Fun



(L-R): Donald Dennis, Sito Sanchez, Anthony Boyd, Yumi Hoashi, and Michael Parker at "Tabletop Games 101"

The Benefits of Tabletop Games for Libraries

June 26, 2017

Card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh can be played between two people or as tournaments between four people. The objective is to get your opponent’s score to zero. The benefits of card games include sportsmanship, problem solving, and strategy. Meanwhile, role-playing games  allow players to collaboratively use their imagination to tell stories. Libraries can also host a … Continue reading The Benefits of Tabletop Games for Libraries


To Reveal Research Topics, Play This Card Game

June 25, 2017

Instead, Baglier and her colleague, associate university librarian Michelle Leonard, have developed a simple card game called Keywords to Mastery to help their students connect the right keywords to topics and find appropriate library resources. This interactive session, sponsored by ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table, introduced Keywords to Mastery to attendees, who were broken up into … Continue reading To Reveal Research Topics, Play This Card Game


Attendees at the Gaming As Meaningful Education conference try out new tabletop games for the classroom.

Playing Games with Curriculum Development

September 27, 2016

Conference cochair Christopher Harris, director of the Genesee Valley (N.Y.) School Library System and editorial director of Play Play Learn, stressed that games should not just be played, they should be treated as any other curriculum-aligned instructional resource. He looked at considerations for selecting games, thoughts on how to align games with the curriculum, and … Continue reading Playing Games with Curriculum Development




From left: Joelle Pitts, Camille Chesley, Jami Schwarzwalder, Kelly Sattler, and Jeff Lacy

Gamification for Teens and College Students

June 27, 2016

The panel included: moderator Breanne Kirsch, public services librarian at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg; Joelle Pitts, instructional design librarian at Kansas State University Library in Manhattan, Kansas; Camille Chesley, reference and instruction librarian at the University of Montevallo in Alabama; Jami Schwarzwalder, teen librarian at South Hill Pierce County (Wash.) Library; … Continue reading Gamification for Teens and College Students


A billboard of Conquest of the Realm maps.

Engaging Students through Gamification

March 1, 2016

In 2015, teacher-librarian Tasha Squires of O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, Illinois, entered the Follett Challenge, an annual contest from Follett School Solutions that showcases schools with innovative methods for learning 21st-century skills. O’Neill Middle School won the grand prize—$60,000—and has used the funding to enhance its reading and writing program. Here, Squires explains … Continue reading Engaging Students through Gamification


Academic Tools

October 30, 2015

Games to test college-level writing Toolwire develops, delivers, and supports immersive learning tools for online and blended learning courses. It’s a new name in game-based learning, but it is already earning accolades for the new directions it’s taking to enhance the educational gaming experience. Through customer feedback and user testing, Toolwire learned that a game’s … Continue reading Academic Tools


Abby Johnson

A Place for Play

September 10, 2015

There is a wide range of possibilities, no matter what your budget may be. An amazing play space can make your library a destination for young patrons, as it has at the Barrington Area (Ill.) Library (BAL), where open-ended activities engage a variety of age groups and encourage adult-child interaction. BAL’s activities and spaces in … Continue reading A Place for Play