Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Serving Students and Families: A Collaborative Literacy Model in Support of Student Achievement

Much of my work as a public librarian centered on collaborating with school districts in an effort to connect with literacy and technology initiatives. This work was rewarding when we were able to center the needs of students and families, but building capacity to improve student success could also prove elusive. When I joined ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee one of my aims was to lift up stories of collaboration and achievement, so when I had the privilege of hearing about the efforts of the library and technology services staff at Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and how they utilized their infrastructure support systems with the Nashville Public Library (NPL) during the pandemic, I knew it was a story worth sharing.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Virtual Field Trips for School-Age Children

As the pandemic continues and children are increasingly required to stay home for a week or more, many school and public libraries are sharing a fresh round of digital learning resources with their communities. If you are looking for new recommendations to send families and caregivers during this time, virtual field trips can be a particularly good fit for children to enjoy while they are stuck indoors.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Digital Literacy and Lending

“Fifth-grade girl at computer behind protection shield” by All4Ed is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Digital Literacy   Libraries are continually finding ways to bridge the digital divide and decrease digital inequity in the communities they serve. With the addition of Northstar Digital Literacy Platform to our library system, we will be able to aid both staff and patrons in bridging the gap by providing our community access to learn the needed skills to excel in today’s digital world. Northstar provides digital literacy assessments as well as a curriculum to aid in improving digital proficiencies. The assessments cover essential computer skills for software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and using other technologies like social media and email. Even though this may be geared towards ALSC’s upper age range, these can be taught in a classroom setting either in person or remotely for students 13 and up. At this time,…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Connect & Amplify: Podcast Engagement from 2021

As the pandemic progresses, librarians and librarian-podcasters have turned to digital solutions to engage kids and families in podcasting whether it is through creation, discovery, or facilitating podcast learning. These inspiring initiatives have created many new podcast makers and they have worked to amplify the stories in their communities and beyond.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Educational Apps, Toys, and Brain Development In Children

When it comes to our children, of course, we want what’s best for them. We pick and choose toys and apps which are not only fun but that are deemed “educational.” But what a parent or educator may want to know is, “Is this toy or app giving the child the full benefit of the learning outcomes that it should?” “How does a parent know what those outcomes should be? There’s been much research on children and brain development, as well as a proliferation of educational apps created in the past few years. “Of the 2.2 million apps in the App Store, 176,000, 8.5 percent are loosely deemed as “educational.” Their growth is expected to increase by 10% through 2021. (Brain Training For Kids: Adding a Human Touch. Hassinger-Das, Brenna and Hirsch-Pasek, Kathy). In this article, Hassinger-Das, and Hirsch-Pasek examine the question of what the term “educational” means as it…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Back to school help for Students

To extend our reach and eliminate any barriers to service, we have partnered with our county school system to provide student accounts. Students can use their school account number as a library card, granting them access to print and online library materials.  After a year and a half of virtual school, students are back to in-person learning. Do they have all the materials they need to succeed?  

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Making Connections with Virtual Services

This season for many of us looks a little different professionally than we might have imagined. As some libraries softly launch more in-person interactions, others may be in a constant state of preparation only to discover that making plans is extremely challenging in this current state. Many institutions have determined that moving forward there will always be space for virtual offerings in their service models. While we all have some sense of wishing to unplug, I am trying to reflect on how technology has allowed us to connect in unique ways over the past year and a half. I’m also looking to the future to see how virtual offerings might not necessarily be the end to purposeful experiences for the communities we serve.  

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Meaningful Technology in a School Library Environment

If you had asked me at the beginning of my graduate program what my end goal was in terms of a library job, I would not have known to list Technology Integrator at a Middle School. However, upon getting a part-time library job at an independent school in Brooklyn that eventually turned into a full-time opportunity, that is the role I ended up in. As I prepare to start my third school year in this position – with a pandemic and pivot into full-time remote learning facilitation in the middle – I am now so immersed in EdTech tools, hybrid learning, and device troubleshooting that I have acquired an entirely new language and skillset that many may not even associate with a library degree.