Children & Technology

Visual Literacy and Cartoons

My four-year-old was recently introduced to The Pink Panther by his grandfather. One of his favorite things to do is snuggle up with Papa and watch an episode of the wordless cartoon and laugh at the various antics of the clever panther. While he was watching one day it occurred to me that watching these wordless (or nearly wordless in the 1990’s version) cartoons was teaching my son about visual literacy. 

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

STEM: Leadership Tips When you Get Coding Bots Out

STEM can overwhelm some librarians. However, do not despair. There are some organizational ideas and leadership tips worth trying if you are willing to give coding bots a try. After a year of an introductory STEM programs at the Simi Valley Public Library, it was time to spice this program up with a new element. Why not buy bots to teach kids computational thinking through basic coding? The idea became a proposal and with minor changes the proposal became a reality. We purchased two of the following four bots: Wonder Dash, Coji, Ozobot, and the Robot Mouse, to implement a year’s worth of monthly STEM programs focusing on coding. Wonder Dash and Azobot: are fine bots for kids 6+. Here children will be practicing coding at a basic and intermediate level if they dare to explore all the potential of these bots. Coji and the Robot Mouse: are convenient bots…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Bridging the Gap on Educational Apps

Part of our role as Children’s Librarians is to help parents navigate the plethora of options available for early education on a digital platform. While these apps have lots of potential when used with parental guidance, the sheer numbers can be overwhelming for parents to sort through. This is where we can step in with exposure to free or low-cost educational apps that are readily available for use on mobile devices. Many library systems have a tablet device for use with programs or roving reference services. This device can also be used to assist parents and their children in testing educational apps before they commit to them. Our library is moving towards a model where mounted tablets would allow the staff to rotate educational apps every few weeks or so, allowing for a wide variety of educational apps to be experienced by our customers. This arrangement allows for librarians to…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Website Content Curation

One of the ALSC competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries is to create and maintain “…a physical and digital library environment that provides the best possible access to materials and resources for children of all cultures and abilities and their caregivers.” While providing a physical environment can appear a more stable though still challenging undertaking, maintaining a digital library environment is a constantly changing task, requiring ongoing assessment and modification.

Blogger Alexa Newman

Eclipse Madness : Zombies Might be Easier

In case you are one of the 18 people who  haven’t yet heard the news: there’s going to be a total solar eclipse on August 21st, that will cross the United States. Media coverage of this rare occurrence  is exploding. It’s exciting to have such an enthusiastic response from the public.  It’s also a little intimidating.     Along with 4799 other public libraries, my library was lucky enough to be selected for the eclipse viewing glasses grant. The 2017 Solar Eclipse project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5373 to the Space Science Institute.  When I applied months ago, barely anyone had heard about the event. It hardly made a ripple in the programming pond.  Some of my colleagues questioned why we would need so many pairs of the glasses. I strenuously asserted that, yes, we would need every single pair. It turns out…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM: Teaching Kids About Nuclear Concepts

Four days ago was the 72nd anniversary of a U.S. atomic bomb destroying five square miles of the city of Hiroshima.  Yesterday was the 72nd anniversary of the U.S’ atomic bombing of Nagasaki.  In five days time from the writing of this post, WWII ended. NEA The NEA has an excellent set of lesson plans, text resources, images and video to help children understand the events that concluded WWII. Turning the tragic loss of 210000 men, women and children into a positive experience for our youngest patrons is not beyond any of us.  And in many ways, I personally feel that the majority of those who perished that fateful week would want our next generation to understand the positive and constructive uses for nuclear energy. Voyager We are on the cusp of a major eclipse, and there’s no better time while children are excited about astronomy to tell them all about the…