MinecraftEdu in Delaware Libraries

September 18th, 2014 by Sarena Fletcher

Minecraft at WoodlawnPlaying MinecraftEdu is a growing phenomenon in Delaware libraries. More and more libraries are offering public programs featuring MinecraftEdu, which is actually a modification, or “mod” of the commercially available Minecraft.* MinecraftEdu is a game in which players build things out of 3-dimensional blocks. Each block can be selected from a multitude of material including various kinds of rock, water, lava, livestock even furniture and kitchen appliances. Entire infographics are dedicated to the choices available. Players are able to create their own worlds in which they design and build houses, buildings, libraries … pretty much anything. The Division of Libraries is currently running ten parallel worlds, each of which is persistent, with each one capable of hosting up to 100 concurrent users. We have a statewide deployment with every public library being able to interact with each other, and as each library develops its MinecraftEdu program we are ready and capable of changing the worlds to suit their needs up to, and including, their own worlds. We are very powerful.

What happens during a MinecraftEdu program?

I took the liberty to crash some MinecraftEdu programs in progress (I’m a bit over the recommended age limit). The Inspiration Space at the Dover Public Library was full of “tweens” sitting in pairs before their assigned computers, working together in earnest to create some kind of virtual structure. They were logged into “Creative mode,” which for our purposes means the administrator of the program is able to pre-determine the scenario, determine the challenge, and provide each team the necessary building material. You can imagine how MinecraftEdu has gained so much attention from educators. These kids are challenged to envision and create a virtual world or aspects thereof in which their imagination is totally free of physical laws and life size constraints. Even more so, kids are able to experience the big “F” – failure. Failure in the virtual world of MinecraftEdu is completely safe. Kids learn from their mistakes and know they can pick up the pieces and begin anew to build something even better.

What is the potential in Delaware libraries?

There is a ton of potential programming Delaware libraries plan to introduce in the coming months. For starters, remember I mentioned statewide deployment? You know what that means, a Statewide MinecraftEdu tournament. Patrons will be able to build and collaborate with follow Delawareans from across the state. Patrons in the Frankford Public Library can play with those from the libraries in Bear, Dover, Wilmington, Seaford and Lewes at the same time! Additional library programming may include the design of alternative controllers made with Raspberry Pi or MaKey MaKey. With some creative motivation, patrons will be able to create their own animated videos, similar to popular remake of “The Fox (What does the Fox Say)” that erupted on YouTube last autumn. Perhaps a little further on the horizon we can offer computer programming in Java where patrons can program their own mods straight into the MinecraftEdu code! Imagine the possibilities!!

* MinecraftEdu is developed by TeacherGaming and supported by Mojang (the company that created Minecraft). Basically, educators recognized the potential learning and social impact that could be found through Minecraft play, modified the game to match their needs in an educational setting, and voila! MinecraftEdu was born and is now used to teach STEM subjects as well as language, history and art. With enough imagination, almost any subject could be taught through using this game as a virtual platform.

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Growing Entrepreneurs

September 16th, 2014 by hope.ellsworth

Inspiration Space Logo

Fall is in the air – a time to harvest our bounty! At the Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space, we have been talking to Delawareans to find out how libraries can help to water, nurture and grow entrepreneurship in Delaware. We continue to urge people to share ideas with us via this blog.

Now we want to share some resources with you. Libraries in Delaware offer free programs for entrepreneurs, such as social media marketing and basic programs about how to start a business. There are several programs offered monthly at multiple libraries throughout the state.

Also, libraries have great online resources at: http://guides.lib.de.us/entrepreneurship.

Inspiration Space @ Delaware Libraries continues to be a large cornucopia for collecting ideas and this blog is one mechanism for us to share the ideas with you.

Join the discussion on this blog!

For more information, contact one of the Inspiration Space Coordinators:
• Alta Porterfield @ 302-922-0753 or alta.porterfield@lib.de.us.
• Ray Goode @ 302-222-8509 or ray.goode@lib.de.us.
• Hope Ellsworth @ 302-222-3618 or hope.ellsworth@lib.de.us.

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Unleash Your Potential

July 22nd, 2014 by hope.ellsworth

IS

Happy Summer fellow Delawareans – Please join the Delaware Division of Libraries in a conversation: How can we water, nurture and grow entrepreneurship in Delaware? There are already great resources and supports in some areas, but let’s take this to the best step (not the next step)! In Delaware, our very own Small Wonder, what can we do? There are some neat things happening and I am impressed by successful entrepreneurs who have volunteered their time to develop some start-up dream opportunities for others. We can do more, can’t we?

In the library system, we have conversations, so we are hoping that one way we can contribute to the nurturing of new and growing businesses is by being a LARGE SPONGE for ideas (that we will share in the Fall). We also love to share information and ideas.

Join the discussion on this blog or via social media:

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The 2014 Summer Library Reading Program is Happening Now in Delaware!

July 14th, 2014 by Beth-Ann Ryan

SLRP-FacebookYouth2The Delaware Division of Libraries and all the public libraries in Delaware invite children, teens, and adults to join the 2014 Summer Library Reading program! Themes for this year are “Fizz Boom Read” for kids, “Spark a Reaction” for teens, and “Literary Elements” for adults. Registration is free and incentive prizes are awarded based on reading milestones.

“The Summer Library Reading Program is a lighthearted way to approach the serious topic of summer learning loss,” said State Librarian, Dr. Annie Norman. “Studies have shown that children who participate in public library summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the new school year, experience less summer reading loss, and begin the school year with more confidence.”

Throughout the summer, libraries will be presenting a variety of fun and educational STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The following three programs for children will be presented at all libraries in the state; visit guides.lib.de.us/summerreading for dates and times:

Reactions, Rockets, & Reading: Bring your young scientist to the library for some surprising chemical and physical reactions that will launch their imagination! You and your child will use carbon dioxide to help make mysterious spheres. Try our stomp rockets, then make and take a rocket launcher and a ping pong ball launcher powered by the elasticity of rubber. Take aim at our landing pad with a rocket powered by you. And use your imagination to turn a book into a spacecraft. The countdown to summer fun has begun.

Fun, Foolery and Folktales International storyteller, published author and award-winning recording artist, Donna Washington uses her pyrotechnic voice and elastic face to transport audiences through time, across the globe and into laughter and learning with her interactive, humorous, multigenerational presentation of folktales.  “Fun, Foolery and Folktales” guaranties to ignite the curiosity and spark the laughter of audiences of all ages. In partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.

Dragons & Dreams A long time ago science and storytelling were accidently mixed and so began Sciencetellers. Combining the power of words with the power of science, Sciencetellers creates stories filled with suspense, anticipation, excitement and experiments.  Experience the science of Fire & Ice as you join the daring adventure to save an entire kingdom in Sciencetellers Presents “Dragons & Dreams”.  According to Sciencetellers, “If you’re in the room, you’re in the story!” In partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.

About:

The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries, offers free access to the online catalog (delawarelibraries.org); Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks, programs/classes, community partnerships, and more.

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Libraries as Community Lynchpins

April 4th, 2014 by Beth-Ann Ryan

In communities throughout Delaware, libraries are informational resource centers and gathering places, bringing people and organizations together. The Milton Library is helping to revitalize the downtown area, attracting large and diverse numbers of its neighbors with new programming and newly designed services.

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