Scrabble – iPhone App of the Week

April 20, 2010

Scrabble – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will also work on the iPod touch.

This week’s App is Scrabble

Scrabble spells major F-U-N on your iPhone! Experience the realistic look and feel of Europe’s favorite board game.

£2.99

I recently discussed gaming and learning with Ron Mitchell and Kev Hickey in one of our podcasts.

Last week saw the Game Based Learning Conference, we didn’t go, but that didn’t stop us from talking about using games for learning and using gaming devices to enhance and enrich the learning process.

At the end of the recording we asked what was our favourite games, Scrabble came up twice!

Scrabble is a word game in which players get points for playing words on a board in a similar manner to a crossword.

Research from various universities has demonstrated that if learners play word and number games this can improve their literacy and numeracy skills. AS reported by The Telegraph:

Scrabble is just as good at improving mental sharpness as a Nintendo DS video games console and a copy of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, say researchers from the University of Rennes, Brittany.

Just on that article and research I have to admit I have always found it much easier to get 17 year olds to play games on the Nintendo DSi than I have getting them to play Scrabble!

Having said that I have “caught” learners in our Library playing Scrabble on the computers. I didn’t know if I should throw them off or congratulate them.

Scrabble requires players to use both word and number skills to maximise the points they earn, so has as demonstrated by the research to improve literacy and numeracy.

Scrabble on the iPhone can be played solo or with other players over wifi.

I quite like playing the game, even if the iPhone cheats and uses words that a) no one has ever heard of and b) no one would ever use!

When waiting for a train, or on a train, or to pass a few minutes away, Scrabble is a nicely executed iPhone game.

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Promoting e-resources

April 20, 2010

In the past we had books, journals, magazines and newspapers in our institutional libraries. Places full of print media. We had individual desks and small tables.

Then computers arrived. In the main so that learners could use them to type up stuff or use “educational” software.

Then the internet arrived and lots of things changed.

Today the learner not only has access to all the traditional print media, they also have access to all the resources available online.

The Excellence Gateway has another useful case study on how promoting resources can increase usage of the library.

Hull College has increased library usage through the promotion of e-resources. The College is now able to cater to an increased number of learners and also tailor services to different types of learner, such as distance or part-time students, or learners with disabilities. e-Resources have made the library service more responsive to the needs of both learners and staff within College.

We have undertaken a recent review of our own promotion of e-books and have started to undertake new and exciting promotional activties to increase usage of e-books by learners and staff.

Key things we are doing include:

  • Letting staff know what new resources and e-books there are. We are using different channels, print publications, e-mail, VLE and importantly face to face conversations.
  • As well as letting them know what is available, we are also promoting how they can use the resources to support teaching and learning.
  • We are using similar methods with learners, using print, e-mail, SMS, VLE and social networking.
  • In the libraries themselves staff are ensuring that when learners ask for particular resources that as well as showing them the print publications they are also showing the learners relevant e-books and online resources.
  • We have also ensured that all the e-books we have are in our catalogue.

Having digital and online resources is not just about getting them or getting access to them, but also ensuring that learners and staff know about them.

How do you promote e-resources to your staff and learners?