(Bloomberg Businessweek) — When Ruth C. Kinney Elementary in Islip Terrace, N.Y., went into lockdown in March, librarian Bianca Rivera feared she wouldn’t be able to connect with students who’d typically come in for activities. But she soon thought of a place where she might find them: the virtual worlds of Roblox, a website where kids chat, play games, and learn new skills. Several times a week, Rivera and dozens of 8- to 11-year-olds logged on to play games such as Piggy But It’s 100 Players (the point is to fend off a petulant porker) and Adopt Me! (they care for virtual pets). Rivera fretted that parents would rebel against yet more time spent online, but they were grateful, and this fall she’s planning to use Roblox to teach animation. “It was a way to talk to the kids,” she says. “It just helped us connect and stay together.”



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