In preparation of presenting my first Storytime with apps, and for parent presentations, I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of a screen. I’ve been reading about apps and iPads and digital literacy and screen time and the proper use of said screens. I’ve been soaking up Tweets from educators, reading articles, ordering recommended books. I’ve been trying out apps and looking for apps that will be beneficial to children, teens, and parents. In short, I’ve been pretty plugged in for the past few months. My eyeballs are sore. My brain hurts. And then I started seeing the media blast about Screen Free Week, April 29-May 5. This board on Pinterest keeps popping up with ideas and posters as I am browsing through and adding apps.
Needless to say, I am experiencing an internal conflict! I love the Unplug movement. I fully agree that reading or spending plenty of time outdoors is a good balance with indoor screen time. I just spent a self-enforced online-free weekend (and it was easier than I thought it would be, though I did miss Twitter a teeny bit). Yes, balance is essential. How to impart this to busy parents? How to convince the Mom who has been bamboozled by her child into loading every Barbie and My Little Pony app she can find? It is hard enough to personally create that balance, so how do we help parents? Information is my first answer. Give them information! Even if parents are not asking you for information about apps, you can make it easy for them to find it. I’ve written posts on our library blog, developed some Pinterest boards, and gathered resources on the parent page on our website. I stress the importance of parental engagement during my presentations and at storytimes. These are my baby steps into corralling digital media information. How are you managing it?