Virtual World Library Book Discussion for Tweens in Whyville
http://infoisland.org/2007/11/09/virtual-world-library-book-discussion-for-tweens-in-whyville/



For the library, this is a collaboration between libraries of all kinds to promote books in all formats, and provide information and fun for kids and young adults spending their time online. You can attend a live or video story hour, browse stories in many formats, and look at exhibits where they can meet other children from all over the world. Thousands of children from around the world visit to interact and explore topics in science, economics, citizenship and more. This has been rated "Best on the Internet" for child safety by iParenting. I would hold book reviews on this site for other children around the world to share their thoughts and ideas on a book. This would activate a multi-cultural community of children/teens online.
Kimla Kinney

Virtual World ROBLOX
http://www.roblox.com/all-games?m=TopFavorites&t=AllTime
For the library, this an awesome virtual world to build and design a scenes out of book. Students have the oppotunity to share or build together an online animated storybook. They can build book characters, share information with friends, interactive game designs by students. As a librarian I would design an animated virtual library and have student checkout books in the virtual library and have challenges and games on the selected book titles. Forums can be held on library setting, books, current events, games or book challenges. This virtual learning tool is best described as "Constructionism" where learning is optimized by public forum and team building. Educational academic benefits associated with Roblox are mathematics, physics, mechanical engineering, computer programming, logic, and game theory while designing, building, and playing in a 3D simulated world. Roblox has been approved for it safety under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Rachel Orona



Virtual World – EcoBuddies www.mimogames.com/ecobuddies

This site is dedicated to providing the “safest virtual world on the market.” It is targeted towards 6-13 year olds, and was created by two former teachers, a former social worker, and a former children’s television show artist. It definitely has the popular anime look which children are drawn to. In this world, children pick a hamster avatar and then navigate through forests, mountains, and beaches. Along the way, there are games to play in order to accumulate points. With the points, you can buy costumes for your hamster, decorate your house, and add pets and their materials. There are scavenger hunts, science and animal videos and e-books, along with many “eco-activities” to teach students a variety of science concepts. Additionally, players can add to their buddy list, create blogs, and chat with other players. The chat feature has word filters and live moderators to help ensure a “safe chat.”

I think this is an engaging and valuable educational site for students to use and plan to implement it in my school library. At our ELL school, science is a challenging subject for most students and we are always trying to find more ways to give them extra support in this area. By joining this virtual world and playing the games, children will be much more receptive to learning because they are having so much fun along the way. The variety of activities will appeal to many different users and will prevent them from becoming bored. Besides just learning numerous cool animal facts, some other topics covered throughout this “world” are: habitats, food chains, endangered animals, recycling, and climate change. An underlying purpose is to teach about green living. Once children have been exposed to this at school, I believe many of them will continue to play at home as well. I know that I won’t have to worry about inappropriate materials or distracting advertisements for them, wherever they play.

Laurie Williams