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,…

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…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

LED Projects That Light Up Summer Programming

In the midst of Summer Reading, vacations, and increased patron activity, it’s beneficial to have a few simple tech activities which can be planned quickly and are easily adaptable. There are a few lasting projects that have always been appropriate for a variety of age groups, including early school-age students, tweens, and teens. I can always manage to dig up some LEDs, and try as much as possible to regularly use the materials in the supply closet that are close to their “craft shelf life.”

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Why have Technology in the Children’s Area?

“I bring my child to the library for books, not computers.” “Why have computers in the kid’s area?  My child has too much screen time already… why do I have to face more at the library?”  We don’t often hear this type of complaint but when we do, we are careful to reply in person and bring a broader context to the dialog about technology. First, we will say that it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to set limits around their child’s use of technology (see the ALSC White Paper on Media Mentorship). Second, I suggest that we open up a conversation with this library patron.  In that discussion, we can increase our understanding of the variety of experience and ability that fills our community. As a public library, our mission is to make access to information available to everyone.  For children with a physical, learning, or other disability…

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

Media Mentorship: In Three Parts

Media Mentorship has been a buzz word in children’s librarianship for a while. While it can still cause some disagreement, we’ve generally resolved that it’s important for children’s librarians to embrace as part of their role. Many contend, myself included, that we’ve always been media mentors – that the only real change has been the medium through which media is being conveyed. Even still, it can be tricky to navigate what about these new mediums to focus on as librarians. I’ve been working with a group of librarians out of Central Maryland, along with Lisa Guernsey from New America and Elaine Czarnecki of Resources in Reading to develop a training toolkit for library systems around the topic of Media Mentorship and we’ve broken the concept of Media Mentorship down into three categories for easier understanding.   Media Mechanics – How do I work this? We’ve long acknowledged that it’s important…