nypl stacks

A scavenger hunt like no other

I just came back from FETC 2015. That’s the Florida Educational Technology conference with almost 10,000 attendees. It’s hard to pick what to write about first. Three days full of exciting technology, schools IT guys and gals looking for the next best thing in educational technology,  and most of all very inspiring teachers that are happy to share their experiences over coffee, in the corridors, in the exhibit halls.

The highlight of this post is a game. It’s not a new one but if you, like me, missed it when it happened you are in for a “wow” moment.  Jane McGonigal, super popular game expert and one of the keynote speakers talked about the blessings of games. What attracted my attention is the fun experience she designed to celebrate the hundred years of the New York Public Library. She designed the “Find the Future: Game” that involved 500 young people spending all night at the Library … finding the future …in the seven underground floors of the legendary library. Before dawn broke, they explored all 125 miles of  the library’s book shelving, identifying precious treasures one by one. They then put together their version of the Declaration of Independence, created a bound book out of their writings and took the book with them at home. Proud authors of a book now hosted at NYPL.  For a whole night the library became the most vibrant place in Manhattan with teenagers, and not only, holding laptops and running around the shelves getting hold of the original copy of the Declaration of Independence, taking pictures of amazing artifacts, and then writing and writing until their collective book was all done.

Take a look!

Games in education are more often than not are associated with images of individuals tied to their screens playing some kind of video game. No doubt we have seen some great educational experiences with video-style games. But what happened in that library on May 20th, 2011 was nothing but a video game.