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Professor Examines Use of Video Games in Class

At one time, news coverage centered on worries about video games’ negative influence on kids — but these days, they are making headlines because of the ways they are being used to help students learn. An avalanche of research supporting video games’ ability to encourage academic development has driven momentum on this issue.

Michael Thomas, UNC Charlotte educational leadership professor, studies the evolving relationship between education and games. He said the work of fellow researcher Constance Steinkuehler, associate professor of digital media, University of Wisconsin-Madison, sheds light on how video games help kids develop scientific habits of mind.

"Experts do not simply do something expertly. They share information with other experts. They trade ideas and strategies. They create tools to benefit the community of experts. They debate. They even fight. They collectively struggle to refine their skills and knowledge related to their expertise. This is true of gamers and it is true of scientists," Thomas explained.

Atkins Library Receives Grant for eBook Research

Through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library will investigate how best to license and acquire electronic resources for academic libraries. The $271,000 award is a two-year research and planning grant to produce recommendations for the licensing and acquisition of electronic resources, particularly eBooks.

"Academic institutions are moving rapidly from print to electronic books," said Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC Charlotte. “UNC Charlotte, with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will explore the impact this shift has on the long-term survival, use and licensing of eBooks."