The tables at the school board meeting are covered in Ipads that are upright on little stands. They are set up for the interactive application OSMO.
Mary Ellen Anderson greets school board members as they arrive at the meeting. She’s the librarian at the Stedman Elementary School.
The school board members take turns at the different Ipad stations trying out the colorful games. The interactive app works by using a mirror system which reflects what’s going on on the tabletop. So whatever the board members are doing on the table shows on the iPad in front of them.
One program follows real puzzle pieces as they’re put together on the table. The shape shows up on the screen. Another asks you to trace lines on the screen using a real paper and pencil on the table.
School board member, Jay Lister, asks student Sean Toth for help. Sean and his sister, Maria Toth are helping the adults figure out how to run the games.
Anderson says the students are allowed to come to the grade school library 15 minutes before school starts for quiet activities like reading or playing the educational computer games, like OSMO.
“The most popular, most recent one is the coding,” Anderson said. “It’s a really fun game, very addicting, the kids love it and yet it teaches them the real basics of coding. It’s not obvious I think to them what they’re learning.”
Another game is called Pizza Shop which teaches kids how to buy and sell and earn money.
Anderson says the application has different levels for different ages of kids.
“My favorite is the Tangram because I love the geometrical shapes and putting them in,” Anderson says, “and it gets progressively more and more difficult so you have all very levels of play on all of these games.”
OSMO has had good industry reviews. Through physical interaction and playing as teams, it’s advertised to foster social intelligence and creative thinking.