Blogger Children and Technology Committee

2019 Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award Winner

Spotlight on PBS Play & Learn Science Last month, the ALSC Children and Technology Committee blog post presented the criteria for the newest Youth Media Award, the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award. Today, I would like to take you through the inaugural award winner, PBS’s Play & Learn Science, to highlight some of the features that stood out to the committee particularly related to the award selection criteria. Facilitates active and creative use by children ages 2-8 in exemplary ways. In Play & Learn Science children engage in active inquiry around science concepts such as light and shadows, force and motion, and weather. The 2019 EELDM award selection committee found elements of humor in the dress up weather game and surprise in the sink/float game. Many of the 15 games we reviewed in the app at midwinter were open-ended, too. These replicate the “explore” stage of science learning…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Getting to Know the Newest ALSC Youth Media Award: Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award

App images from the winning apps.

Did you know that there was a newbie mixed in with this year’s Youth Media Awards? You may have missed it in the press release, but at the 2019 Midwinter Meeting of ALA in Seattle, ALSC presented one award and two honors for Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media [EELDM]. This award recognizes the most distinguished digital media created for an early learning audience by a producer based in the United States. You should know that this award considers all forms of digital media, defined as “any interactive media content or product that is available via electronic device across one or more platforms,” for “children ages 2-8 along with their caregivers, professionals, and media mentors serving them.” The 2018 award selection committee specifically sought out to identify the most outstanding “digital media that enables and encourages active engagement and social interaction while informing, educating, and/or entertaining in a developmentally appropriate…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Reviewing “The New Childhood” by Jordan Shapiro

In his new book, The New Childhood, Jordan Shapiro explores the changing digital world that children are growing up in and how parents can prepare them to navigate this world. Shapiro does not shy away from the fact that many parents are intimidated and wary about letting their children interact with the digital world to too great an extent, but at the same time he advocates that it is the role of parents to make sure their children have the tools to thrive in the world that they will be entering into as adults. One of the more striking points that Shapiro makes is in his comparison of sandbox play and digital play. Examining the field of childhood development, Shapiro demonstrates all of the ways in which digital play can fulfill the same roles as sandbox play while also preparing children for a world that is going to constantly demand…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Do You Have an iPad?

Do you have an iPad? Chances are that your school or library has one and we know that kids are already pretty savvy using them. And while playing with the Photo Booth app is fun at a program, you can do more with the iPad you already have! Our library recently added the Journalism kit from a company called Padcaster. We’ve tried a variety of video options over the years (Google+ Hangouts on Air, YouTube Streaming, a Mevo) and I have lots of experience carting around multiple totes of equipment. The Padcaster and it’s accessories all fit in an easy to carry backpack, so it’s storage and convenience combined. You can edit your videos from iMovie on the iPad, or share them to Dropbox to edit on a desktop machine. Why did we invest in another set up when we already have a robust A/V cabinet?  As technology improves it gets smaller,…

Children & Technology

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Collaborating with Colleagues to Maximize Access to Technology

As a public librarian turned school librarian, I’ve always had a keen awareness of the importance of a strong public library/school library connection to increase the effectiveness of both for our school-aged patrons.  I’m very lucky to currently work in a school district that supports their school libraries and provides a wide range of database subscriptions, and access for our students to laptops, tablets, and other technology.  Even so, I find myself directing my students regularly to the resources available from our local public library; whether it be to utilize a digital subscription that we don’t carry at school, or urging them to visit the branch in person to take advantage of the technology, programming and expertise available there.  This partnership only increases in importance in areas where funding for schools and libraries is even leaner, and absolutely vital in those communities where school librarians are being cut altogether. With…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Engaging Families and Technology with Byte-Sized Programming

Bee Bots, Osmos, and iPads are a great introduction to early technology.

Ready to introduce new technology, but uncertain about patron interest?  Why not try what we call “byte-sized programming”?  It introduces a variety of tech in a station-based environment.  The more stations, the more entry points you have to engage your families with tech.  You can introduce a variety of topics that appeal to all generations.  Plus, these programs are easily customized to your space, patron interests, and budget, and are held on a come-and-go basis.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Where to Find Free Children’s eBooks

Photo instructions for the hand movements to the rhyme "baa baa black sheep" and

It seems like even the family cat has access to a device, so it’s no surprise that even our youngest readers are utilizing eBooks. While our library collections are full of exciting new content (read along ebooks, beginning readers, and picture books to name just a few), sometimes nothing hits the quality reading spot quite like sharing a classic title. And best of all, there’s no such thing as a holds queue when reading classics with a free and legal public domain download. Where can I find free titles? So many books, so little time! You want to make sure you’re using yours effectively. Whether you’re reading on a phone, tablet, dedicated e-reader, or desktop computer you’ll find more than enough titles for your “for later” list. You’ll find public domain titles on multiple sites, so it’s really all about the reading experience. It’s a bit like choosing your phone’s operating…