Marketing for Libraries Logo

Interactive and Gaming Technology

Learning Objectives
• Define interactive technology and provide examples.
• Define interactives and provide examples related to libraries.
• Define Multi-User Gaming Environments and provide examples.

Creating a vaccine for a dreaded disease.
Designing a virtual city complete with people, vehicle, and pollution.
Building a sod house out on the prairie.

All three of these activity involve the use of interactive technology. No longer are games viewed as just for fun. Interactives often have specific learning goals with high quality content using effective instructional strategies.

Interactive technology is a category of tools and resources that involve dynamic human-computer interaction.

Interaction occurs when two or more objects have an effect upon each other. In virtual learning spaces, this interaction often occurs between the human and the computer.

The image below is from The Blood Typing Game from NobelMedia.

blood typing

New Media and Interactive Media

New media is a term used to describe a new generation of media that contain interactive elements.

Interactive media is a term that refers to digital systems that respond to a user's actions.

A library user might check out books about creating floor plans, but a librarian might also suggest an interactive such as Floor Planner.

floorplan

How do you engage learners and inquirers of all ages? The key is getting people thinking and creating through activities that actively involve them with content. Whether working with a traditional desktop or laptop computer or using tools on a smartphone or iPad, interactive technology provides opportunities to bring learning alive.

Try It
Use the Floor Planner or another online interactive tool or app.

Interactives

Interactives are software tools that facilitate computer to human interaction. In other words, communications are sent between the human and the computer forming a relationship. When people design spaces for this type of computer-based interaction, they're sometimes called interactives. Most commonly these interactives are designed in software such as Flash or HTML5 that combine, text, graphics, audio, video, and animation with interactive elements such as buttons, drag/drop, and media controls.

An increasing number of groups are creating free interactives. They’re often available through museums. While some are games, others are artists tools, tools for designing a car, selecting paint, or making music.

toolkit

Try It!
Explore the Artist’s Toolkit.

The Value of Games

Gaming is much more than a time-waster, it can stimulate your brain and help you learn. That’s one reason gaming is becoming increasingly popular in all types of libraries.

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broker: Why Games Make Use Better and How They Can Change the World, has been featured as a TED speaker discussing the use of games in society.

Try It!
Watch Jane McGonigal’s TED talk on YouTube.

Learning and Interactive Games

If you want to engage young people in the library, think games. Many games combine fun and learning.

The Design a Panda Habitat is a learning game from the National Zoo.

panda

Try It!
Explore some online learning games.
Go to Ology to explore lots of interactives for youth.
Go to Kids.gov for lots of government sponsored games.

Gaming Libraries

controllerPeople of all ages enjoy computer and web-based games.

Gaming is becoming very popular in libraries.

Try It!
Go to ALA International Games Day for an example.

Many libraries are embracing gaming.

Try It!
Explore the Ann Arbor Public Library Game Blog.
Think about the role of games in their library.

Increasingly gaming is being used in the medical fields to simulate emergencies or explore readiness for pandemics such as BioHazards from Johns Hopkins University and The Great Flu.

Many seniors enjoy playing games such as bowling on the wii.

Interactives in the Library

There are many ways that interactives can be integrated into library programs, promotions, and displays.

Lego Fun. Connect Lego books, Lego hands-on activities, and online Lego Games with learning activities across the curriculum. Or, simply focus on fun! Go to Lego Games for online ideas.

Extreme Makeover Promotion. Get out your interior design, Feng Shui, architecture, and other design books and have some fun. Set up a display with books related to room planning and design, add a laptop with one of the many room planner interactives, set up a television with your HGTV DVDs, create a pathfinder with websites and have some fun. Set up a bulletin board to share favorite designs. Invite a local interior designer to speak.

Music Promotion. Create a display of instruments, books, how-to videos, and instrumental audio CDs. Incorporate a laptop into the display for people to try out online instruments such as the San Francisco Symphony page.

Underground Railroad Learning Station. Build an interactive display incorporating picture books, chapter books, primary source documents, videos, and interactive activities. Interactives might include Pathways to Freedom. Go to Learning the RUN way for examples that incorporate all these elements.

Try It!
Go to Edheads and try some of the interactives.

Multi-User Gaming Environment

Many people are involved with multi-user gaming environments (MUGE) that connect users at remote sites. Many worlds incorporate audio and video elements. Websites such as World of Warcraft connect users from around the world. Some libraries sponsor WOW programs.

Many popular game systems use Internet connections that allow players to interact and communication through text and audio. For instance, Wii's Animal Crossing allows users to visit the towns created by their virtual friends.

Increasingly, users are accessing virtual worlds and multi-user games through their mobile devices. For instance, Dragonvale is a popular iOS/Android App that allows participates to visit the worlds of their peers and gift "gems".

Conclusion

Interactive technology is a category of tools and resources that involve dynamic human-computer interaction. New media is a term used to describe a new generation of media that contain interactive elements. Interactive media is a term that refers to digital systems that respond to a user's actions.

Gaming is becoming very popular in libraries.

Many people are involved with multi-user gaming environments (MUGE) that connect users at remote sites.

 


| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.