September 2008


You have been reading all about these fantastic games for the school library, but there is so much more!   There are console, computer, RPG, big games and a host of other ways to engage your students through play.  Now is your chance to charge your gaming CHI and be a part of what is one of the most exciting movements in libraries since Dewey dropped the knowledge.

To gain said mystic aura, consider attending one of the most anticipated conferences of the year… The 2nd Annual Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium taking place in Chicago, November 2nd through the 4th.  Experts in the field of gaming and libraries will be coming to share their experience and best practices.  I will be presenting, along with my colleague Christopher Harris, on the alignment work that we have been doing with board games, plus we will co-presenting with Scott Nicholson a rather tongue in cheek look at modern board games and why they PWN.

Space is limited, so if you are excited about what is happening with gaming in libraries and would like to start building the knowledge base and skill set to build a fantastic gaming program for your school library, then get yourself down to Chigago!

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Number of Players: 2 to 6

Grade Levels: Junior High and Up

Length: 60 Minutes

Investment: Medium
Return: High

NYS Standards:

SS Standard 3: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live…
SS Standard 4: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, … and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and nonmarket mechanisms.
MST Standard 4: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

AASL Standards:

1.1.2: Use prior/background knowledge as context for new learning
3.1.5: Connect learning to community issues
4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience

Yumm… renewable and non-renewable energy supplies, smothered in geographically based resources, all with a creamy nougat center.

Science is always a hard curricular standard to find a good game to match, but Rio Grande’s Power Grid delivers. In Power Grid, players work to expand their network of cities, by bidding on power plants and purchasing resources.  The game employs a clever balancing mechanism, allowing the player in the lead first bid on power plants but then putting them up last for purchasing resources and expanding their network. (more…)

Picking a game resource for your school library is not an easy task. There are several factors to consider when deciding if a game is right for your library.

  • Is it an authentic games?
  • Does it tie in with the curriculum?
  • How will the game will work with your school’s time schedule?

Another important, and often overlooked, consideration is a game’s Return on Investment. How much do you need to invest introducing, setting up and teaching the game to your students and what return are they going to get from their gaming experience?

Board games can provide a variety of direct educational benefits for students. From enriching curricular units on ancient civilizations or American history, to reinforcing content specific skills such as division with remainders or concepts like the idea of diminishing returns. Games enrich the learning experience. Unfortunately, the return on some games are not worth the time needed to guide the students through a successful gaming experience. (more…)