Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Gaming to Coding & Symbaloos

North Richland Middle School Librarian, Julie Pursley was looking for a more meaningful learning experience for her “before school gamers”. Every morning Julie is greeted with a handful of students waiting to use the library computers to play computer games. After hearing about the game based learning offered by code.org and the success of the national Hour of Code, Julie wondered if this might be a better option for her gamers. Julie reached out to fellow Librarian Beth Muirheid & Digital Learning Specialist Rashel Larson and then created a Symbaloo. A “Symbaloo is a personal start page that allows you to easily navigate the web and compile your favorite sites all into one visual interface.” See the video “This is Symbaloo”.
Today, she sent the following e-mail to share the experience….
Here is the link to the Symbaloo I made using the websites Beth used for her coding day. I have used it this week with all 8th graders during their library time and I had kids fill the computers this morning to play. I will be adding two sites that kids have told me about and I’ll update the Symbaloo. The Symbaloo is super simple and crude right now, but it is giving them a place to find everything.

I was super nervous about having my kids “code” until my DLS worked with Beth and told me I didn’t have to be an expert and just give the kids an intro and let them go. I did J The 8th graders have had fun this week and it has been fun to watch kids who don’t ever do anything for anyone play and I’m hearing all types of conversations. They are working together, laughing and actually thinking about thinking!

“I got the banana! Cool”
“Hey man it actually worked and he walked”
And so on.
Lots and lots of engagement! Thanks Beth and Rashel.
Julie Pursley
#bisddlp @falconslibrary1 @NRichlandMiddle #nrms2015

1 comment:

  1. Julie and Beth are amazing! Glad to see the kids diving in and enjoying what they are doing.