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Ganked Ten Day Giveway

With the print edition of Ganked now available, it’s about time I ran a giveaway contest. So here you go!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ganked by Liam O'Donnell


by Liam O’Donnell

Giveaway ends December 14, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


It all kicks off tonight at midnight and will run for 10 days. Hop into Goodreads and enter to win two autographed copies of Ganked (and other goodies, too!)


Bringing the Minecraft to ECOO 2013

mutli-sign-shoreham2013I’ll be yammering on about Minecraft a lot this October at the upcoming ECOO 2013 conference, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Last year’s ECOO Minecraft Madness was a lot of fun and this year promises to be bigger, better and blockier than ever before.

Read on to find out why.


Ganked gets a cover and I learn three things about creativity

Ganked-drop-shadow2525-500WI’ve written more 30 books for kids from sci-fi graphic novels to cute picture books about animals.  While I’m happy with each book, I didn’t have much say about one key aspect: the cover.

All that changed with Ganked: Geeked Out Mysteries #1, my new YA gamer geek mystery coming  out in October 2013.

For Ganked, I’m the publisher. I have the final word on things like covers and other non-writerly stuff. That’s a lot of fun. It’s also scary. And it’s been a big learning experience.

Thankfully, I worked with a very patient designer, James at humblenations.com. He created the clean, modern cover design on the left.

He also taught me three things about creativity along the way. (more…)

Cube World: the next video game your students will be talking about

Cube World This coming school year, teachers and parents could be hearing talk of a brand new game inspired by Minecraft, but adding role-playing game (RPG) elements that so many kids (and adults!) love.

That game is Cube World.

It’s currently in Alpha mode and not officially released yet but, like Minecraft before it, it’s available for curious gamers to explore.

I did just that. After running around, fighting monsters and generally having a blast, I’m confident the name “Cube World” will make its way through school playgrounds and become a household name very soon.

So what is Cube World?

Watch the video below and join me (as my alter ego Praxismaxis) as I explore the world, meet a sheep and get totally ganked by an ogre. Good times.

Curious to learn more?

Buy Cube World at picroma.com

Play on the GamingEdus Cube World server by visiting gamingedus.org.

What do you think of Cube World? Is it something you’d bring into your classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

As an award-winning children’s author, gamer-geek and elementary school teacher, I often have Tech Teaching ideas and project news to share with fellow educators. I deliver these resources and ideas to your inbox in my e-newsletter Reading Change.

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Three newly releasesd books to tackle online bullying in your classroom

I fill many roles in my daily life: children’s writer, digital games-based-learning critic and advocate and virtual world community manager and finally elementary school teacher.

The recent tragic  events of children taking their own lives because of online bullying, has led me to reflect on how I, as teacher who champions online spaces, can ensure my students and any person online is free from bullying.

To help answer that question, I’m turning to yet another aspect of my life: judging the Best Books for Kids & Teens, on behalf of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. This sumer I’m looking at the 2013 new non-fiction books for kids.

I found three books that deal with bullying, both online and offline.  I’ll be bringing them into my classroom this year. Hopefully, after reading my quick reviews, you will want to do the same.


Two quick ways to secure your Minecraft server


Avoid griefing like this. Activate your server white-list!

As Minecraft continues to storm through the world of gaming, education and everywhere else, one thing is for certain: everybody wants to create their own server!

I think that is a great thing.

I’ve run several servers since early 2011, through my GamingEdus project, and we’ve had young players go from casual players to admins of their own virtual world, learning a lot about computers and networks along the way.

For teachers, running your own Minecraft server mean opening a whole new world of play and learning to your students.

In the rush to be the ruler of their own world, many gamers and teachers forget to secure their Minecraft servers from unwanted visitors who could destroy (aka grief) your builds.

Fortunately, securing your Minecraft server is as easy as activating the server white-list and installing a server wrapper, like Craftbukkit. This post will show you how to do just that.