I recently ran a four week Writing Comics Workshop for young writers at the amazing Toronto Public Library. Each Saturday, I met with 25 creators aged 8 – 12 years and we went through the steps to writing our own comics. We focused on using words to create story ideas, characters and all that fun stuff.
To help teachers and comic fans at home, I’m posting outlines and lesson guides for each week’s session. Last time, in Writing Comics Workshop for Kids: Session 1, we covered Brainstorming and creating Story Seeds. Session 2 is all about Creating Characters.
Back then, I couldn’t reveal any details. But this is the future so anything goes! Almost.
If you want to see the picks and many other amazing books from Canadian creators, you’ll have to pick up a copy of the Spring Edition of the Best Books for Kids and Teens 2013 in your local bookstore or online at BookCentre.ca.
Since we launched the Multi-School Minecraft server in early 2012, myself and my GamingEdu pals have received a lot of questions about it. The most common question is usually: “What the heck is the Multi-School server and how does it work?”
It can be difficult to explain how 40 students, from four inner-city schools, share 1 Minecraft server for learning and fun. It hasn’t really been done before. We have our GamingEdus site packed with resources for teachers and our Minecraft Club Hub wiki for student work. But what we didn’t have is a video tour. That is, until now.
Enjoy this quick video tour of the Multi-School Minecraft server. And if you’re a teacher interested in using Minecraft with your students, visit gamingedus.org and get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
As an award-winning children’s author, gamer-geek and elementary school teacher, I often have teaching ideas and writing news to share with fellow educators. I deliver these resources and ideas to your inbox in my e-newsletter Reading Change.
Back in 2003, I was a struggling freelance writer with a few graphic novels for kids under my belt. I was pitching articles to magazines, playing a lot of video games and wondering if a career in teaching was for me.
That was also when I stumbled upon a newly released book called What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. It gave me an idea for an article and I was fortunate enough to land an interview with its author, Dr. James Paul Gee.
Here’s the article reprinted in all it’s 2004 glory. I think the content is still relevant today, nearly 10 years later. What do you think?
For boys who shun books, video games and the Internet provide a way into the world of words
By Liam O’Donnell
“I’d be happy if he read the Sunday comics,” laments Jodi DiGiuseppe, a mother of two from London, Ont. She has tried everything to get her nine-year-old son, Anthony, to read, with little success. “We banned the TV and offered bribes, but that didn’t work for long.” Like many boys his age, Anthony just isn’t interested in books. But get Anthony playing his favourite video game and he turns into a digital demon. “I have to drag him away from the screen.”
Having a button-mashing, book-bashing son is worrying for many parents. For the last six years literacy tests conducted by Council of Ministers of Education show Canadian boys trailing girls in reading and writing skills. In 1998, 13 year old boys scored 15% lower than girls on reading tests. In more recent writing exams, girls continue to score higher than boys. Are video games and other digital distractions to blame? While some parents and teachers are quick to say yes, a growing number of educators are coming to the defence of video games. Boys aren’t becoming illiterate, they say. Boys are redefining literacy, and gaining “digital literacy” skills. And in the workplaces of the future, these skills might give them a head start on their book-reading buddies.
I'm an award-winning children's author and educator. This is where I talk about teaching with technology, video games, writing graphic novels, middle grade and YA fiction and more. Feel free to join in on the conversation.
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Central Ontario Computer Association
On Wednesday, June 12th, I'll be talking to education leaders about Game Based Learning in schools at the 2013 COCA Retreat in Barrie, ON.