Spencer writes in the library, part 7: Bending the rules

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

2014-08-01 10.19.57

This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place on Friday, August 1 around 10:00am

The Spot

Where am I working today?

Today, I am actually working from the East Lansing Public Library. It’s a departure from my stated goal of exploring the MSU Library, but I’ve got a really good reason for it, I promise. I’m helping some friends with a move this afternoon, and if I have errands later in the day, taking the bus to campus and back usually isn’t worth the trouble. However, working at home during the morning on that kind of day usually ends up being a disaster, so I compromised and drove to the ELPL, which is closer to home and has free parking. Today, I’m at one of the little study desks in the north east corner of the building.

What’s a perk of this spot?

This is a nice compromise spot – it’s easier to focus here than at home, and the view out the window next to this desk is beautiful!

What’s a problem with this spot?

The desk felt a little low, but that’s often the case for me. I also suspect that I might run out of unique study spots here at the ELPL than at the MSU Main Library.

What have I learned in this spot?

2014-08-01 12.00.42

That being said, the ELPL has some pretty cool resources! I’ve mostly stuck to the one or two spots in the library where I know I’ll find the kinds of books I like, but there are group study rooms, computer labs, and all sorts of things that I didn’t know about!

How would I rate this spot?

4 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

I brought a book with me that I meant to go through, but I ended up having an extremely fruitful day on Twitter. I found three different web articles that related in different ways to my interest in games and learning: one on Minecraft, one on Diplomacy, and one on an explicitly educational game called Saving Setrus. I wound up spending a fair amount of the morning on those articles, turning one of them into a blog post and considering how I could then turn the others into posts.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

It’s always nice to find out that other people out there have come to the same conclusion that you have. There is, of course, a danger in surrounding yourself with these people, but I recently made the argument that certain kinds of games might have similar affordances as the maker movement; this morning, the Minecraft article I read didn’t explicitly make the same argument, but contributed some helpful thinking that I feel backs up that claim.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.