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Osmo in a library setting

Guest post by Andy Barnett, director of the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids.
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We saw Osmo software on an iPad and were impressed with it. It is hard to top as an example of the gamification of education and some elements are amazing. We are promoting it as we transition to a more interactive Youth Services space.

The software kit ($80) includes a stand and mirror, as well as pieces for four different games. This is a great price if you have an underused iPad around and even if you don’t. The iPad uses the mirror to recognize what is happening in front of it.

  • Newton involves redirecting balls dropping from the top of the screen to hit and destroy targets. You can use your hand, a pencil or a line on a sheet of paper to redirect the balls.
  • Masterpiece. Select an image or convert a photograph into a line drawing. Put a piece of paper in front of the Osmo and paper with the image superimposed appears on the screen. You can then trace the image on the paper, building eye/hand coordination.
  • Word consists of several games, all involving finding the right letters to describe the image displayed. At easy levels, it is just the first letter of a word. At higher levels, it’s the whole word. Can be played solo or against another person.
  • Tangrams uses the traditional shapes, but recognizes when you have a piece in the right place. Easy levels show the colors and outlines of the pieces, but higher levels don’t provide clues.

McMillan Library's OSMO stationMcMillan has them out for public use, secured by a cable and with most apps restricted. The tangrams and letter sets must be checked out, but kids are free to sit down and start playing.

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Additional resources:
Review of OSMO by a blogger who borrowed it from the library - http://readingbyexample.com/2015/05/09/beyond-the-screen-osmo-for-the-ipad/

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