According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, women are underrepresented in the technology industry – comprising just 25% of the workforce. These careers are often higher-paid, and technology skills are in high demand, so it should be an important mission of libraries to help ensure that young girls have opportunities to explore technology-related careers. (In this article, “girls” refers to all who identify as girls and is inclusive of gender-nonconforming children.) Many librarians are intimidated by the prospect of creating STEM programming for young children, but it can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, with benefits that go beyond simply learning how to code.
Tag: children and technology
Free Learning Apps & Games for Families at Home
As a children’s librarian at a public library, I was delighted recently when a parent brought in two kids for a play date. The friends spent the afternoon giggling and playing educational games side by side on our computers. We all know that libraries are about so much more than just books; in this case, the library provided a fun and welcoming space, as well as free access to a suite of learning games that the families would otherwise have to pay for on their own. However, this visit also reminded me that some of these library benefits don’t extend to at-home use. When the parent asked if the kids could access these same games at home, I had to say no because our library’s subscription is only good on-site. In the moment, I recommended a few alternatives for free learning games that the parent could check out at home—reliable…
Roblox and Kids: What you need to know
During a recent tech lesson, a first-grade student exclaimed, “I play Roblox, and they can scam you!”. And as I listened, she and many of her six-year-old classmates shared their experiences in the game, describing pop-ups and chat boxes, currency and avatars. It was passionate, energetic, and enlightening. As class ended, I began to wonder more about Roblox’s creation and how it could integrate into a teaching and programming moment.
Music and Story time Programs
“Music baby.” by cross-eyed doll is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. How do you incorporate music into your story time programs? Has this gotten more difficult as more music has gone in the direction of streaming? This was a recent and interesting discussion on ALA Connect. In the past, we used CDs, but some of us moved on to streaming. This may be great for listening – but problematic for story time programs. What works best—Spotify? YouTube? Apple Music? Amazon? Dropbox? CDs? To pay or not to pay? We polled ALSC’s Childrens and Technology committee members to see how each of our systems tackle this issue. The solutions are varied and work for those of us who use them, but they may not work for all. With CDs, availability is the issue as they are neither being produced nor purchased as much. If you still have CDs, one option is…
Digital Media Resources updated for 2022
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.
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.
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.
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,…