from Amy Bowllan's blog on SLJ I saw the link to this article from the NY Times on girls and doll websites. As I write this now, my 9 year old daughter is at the computer next to mine logging onto the Webkinz website to play with her webkinz - which is actually a stuffed dog that she got in her Easter basket. On the dogs tag was a number that she plugged into the Webkinz site and now she can play with the stuffed dog but also play with her dog on the website. These seem to be the new trend in her age group, and I say that not because of the article in the NY Times, but because whenever I have tried to find the Webkinz stuffed animal, many a store is sold out. Kind of like the beanie babies of a generation ago.
Now, as a school media specialist dealing with girls (and boys too, my 6 year old has a webkinz also) I wonder how these new computer games/toys can be incorporated into learning. I know for my daughter, it is just fun. But I also know, she has to read the website, and some of the games that she plays on the site have some math and reasoning skills involved. I wouldn't classify the website as "educational" but it is not all bad either. I think as I start planning my lessons for next year I might consider some of these games that the NY Times has mentioned (and that my daughter plays) and see where I might incorporate them into learning.