I’ve heard plenty of parents express guilt over letting their children watch videos or play games on their phones – “I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just so I can get the dishes done.” It doesn’t help that it seems like recommendations are changing constantly and parents don’t always know where to look for the most up-to-date information. The last two years have been even harder – video chats and schooling have moved online and our children are getting more screen time than ever.
Hello Friends! We have some exciting news to share. The ALSC Digital Media Resources page has been updated. This list, created and updated annually by the ALSC Children and Technology Committee, curates current digital and tech articles, blog posts, and websites impacting the youth services field. This year we’ve added some new categories–media mentorship and podcast advisory–and updated recommendations on the familiar topics of children’s eBooks and apps, early learning, and research. Each section’s resources are selected with focused attention on the interactions of children and technology.
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.
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.
“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,…
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.
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…
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?