Young Adults

Writing, Technology and Teens

From a new report from The Pew & The Internet American Life Project: Writing, Technology and Teens: Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing. This disconnect matters because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them.

Game Playing @ Your Library

Whether it's Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution, the kid are having a blast at the Penfield Public Library (near Rochester NY).

Are the games 'educational'? Jennie Schaff, assistant professor of education technology in Nazareth College’s school of education, said the games could be super beneficial in getting kids into the library. Guitar Hero requires users to click on colored keys to hit the correct note, which could be educational for some.

Wiis are also being used with senior citizens for maintaining motor control and having fun. They can bowl, play tennis and do other sports, indoors.

It’s not just about playing the games, said 12-year-old Aaron Bonham. “It gets you out of the house and you get to socialize and meet new people,” he said. And, after the kids play, Grills said many of them head over to the teen section to scope out what’s on the shelves. Story from MPN Now.


Get Those Kids Outta My Library!

From across the pond comes this opinion piece from one Helen Martin, probably one of the stuffiest people I've ever read. Her problem is, at heart, a simple one. Apparently, they're letting kids come to the library. I mean, what next? Story time?

It seems to me quite unjust that well-behaved, adult library users who have already been subjected to the odious behaviour of little neds ruining their literary oasis, should now have to witness whole swathes of their library being handed over to the very people who should have been banned. "Oooh! You can't ban them!" squeal the do-gooders. "We need to engage them and turn their energies to productive use."

I'm guessing she probably isn't very pro library technology either:

In this new-style library, teenagers can chill out, play computer games, learn to make movies and relax in their own dedicated area. Naturally I have no objection to any of that, except that it should take place somewhere else – perhaps a community centre or a youth club.

Stephen King On Violence and Video Games

If there's anyone who knows anything about fictional violence, monsters ripping into young children, and vehicles mowing down anything in their way, it's Stephen King. This man wrote some of the classic horror novels of our time and has been in publication for almost forty years. So you just know he's going to have an interesting take on the whole concept of video games and the violence they supposedly cause.

Kotaku has the quick breakdown with the full story appearing on Entertainment Weekly.

Safer Children in a Digital World: the report of the Byron Review

On 6th September 2007, the Prime Minister asked Dr. Tanya Byron to conduct an independent review looking at the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. Her Review is about the needs of children and young people. It is about preserving their right to take the risks that form an inherent part of their development by enabling them to play video games and surf the net in a safe and informed way.

By listening to children and young people and putting them at the heart of this Review - and by replacing emotion with evidence - she hopes she has provided some very necessary focus to what is a very necessary debate. PDF versions of the Full Report, Annexes and supporting documentation are available.

Librarians on the streets to find common ground with book lovers

Striking Librarians in Victoria BC are spending a few hours this week and more next week walking the downtown streets, talking books to people. "We don't stop caring about literacy in Victoria because we can't be doing the jobs we love," Andersen said yesterday, as she walked downtown, asking people what they've been reading.

Our Public Libraries Are Being Turned Into Video Arcades

Dave Gibson Complains Our Public Libraries Are Being Turned Into Video Arcades.

Generations of Americans who valued education and insisted that their children understand not only the importance but the enjoyment of the written word, have given way to barely functioning illiterates who spend hour after hour trying to get to the next level of Guitar Hero. We are headed back to a time in this country when only the rich could read and write with any proficiency, and apparently our public libraries are now on board with that disastrous goal.

RIP Gary Gygax

Sad news for the world of geekdom as Gary Gygax passed away today at the age of 69.

For those unfamiliar with the name, you're surely familiar with his creation: Dungeons & Dragons. D&D, originally only a role playing game, spawned enough books, both fiction and non-fiction, to fill their own library.

Salon has a decent story about this gentle man and Wil Wheaton posts about an experience very typical of those of us who were, and still are, into the D&D scene.

Kids, Books, and Photos

Gather a kid or two, design some cover art, and take a photo.

Oh yes, and you'll want to create a small, but incredibly cool, optical illusion.

And you wind up with some fun and lively photographs reminding us how books can change and enhance the lives of children.


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