Exploring Tech With Kids

One of the best parts of my job as a Children’s Programming Librarian is getting to explore technology with the kids in the form of a library program. They learn (and so do I), they have a positive experience with the library and its staff, we always end up talking about what they are into including books, and we always have fun! Tech and/or maker programs are a win all around and not as intimidating as you might think.

As a programming librarian I’m continually trying programs and activities that scare me a little bit. It’s easier to be confident about a program when I know the subject thoroughly. I do lots of programs like this. But I still make room in my program schedule for a little something new as time and resources allow. This keeps me stretching and building my skills as a librarian and it keeps new patrons walking through our doors!

So this is me saying, “go ahead and try it! That super rad program you have been thinking about that you just know your community would love. As a librarian, you are a professional, lifelong learner and you can learn whatever you need to put on an awesome program!”

For some great program ideas, check out the following resources I’ve found helpful as I plan programs. There are so many other wonderful ideas out there. Please share more in the comments.

Coding resources from The Digital Shift: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2013/07/k-12/daisy-the-dinosaur-and-hopscotch-coding-apps-for-kids-and-teens-screencast-tutorial/ Art Bots and

Squishy Circuits from Evanston PL via the Tinker Group: http://tinkergroup.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/squishy-circuits-and-artbots/

Storytelling with Little Bits (http://littlebits.cc) at the Brooklyn Public Library: http://littlebits.cc/transforming-libraries-through-technology

Everything at www.makeitatyourlibrary.org.

A bunch of great programs at Barrington Area Library including stop motion animation: http://www.barringtonarealibrary.org/tech

Light painting, Lego robotics and more from Liz Fraser: http://gettinggiggles.wordpress.com/category/library-programs/maker-programs/

Andrea Vernola is the Children’s Programming Librarian at Kalamazoo Public Library. She is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology Committee. She can be found on twitter as @librarianandi.

This entry was posted in Blogger Children and Technology Committee, Children & Technology, Programming Ideas, STEM/STEAM, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Exploring Tech With Kids

  1. Hi Andrea,
    I’m a Children’s Library Programmer, too, and I loved your post! I agree that it’s challenging and fun to step out of our comfort zone and enter the tech world. Last year I arranged an amazing program called “Break It-Make It”. I coordinated with our local transfer station and they set aside all kinds of broken electronics for the program. We invited kids and parents to bring some simple tools to the program, and they had a blast taking everything apart and learning about what is inside. We invited a member of our state’s Invention Convention to attend, and he was very helpful in explaining the technology. I don’t think this was totally necessary, though, but it was a nice added bonus. We’re looking forward to the program again this year!

    • Andrea says:

      That’s such a great idea, Allison! I’ve thought of doing something similar but wasn’t sure how to structure it. And now with your comment, I feel I could do it! That’s the beauty of librarians sharing program ideas via the internet!

  2. Sarah Travis says:

    Loved this Andrea! You just gave me so many ideas!

  3. Pingback: Making without a Makerspace | ALSC Blog

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