Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Pandemic Takeaways, Part 1

ALSC’s Children and Technology committee has been reflecting on the past year, about our roles and practices in our learning environments, especially as they relate to technology. This is the first of two posts we created that share our experiences. Today, we are focusing on the school librarians in our group. Manuela Aronofsky is the Middle School Technology Integrator at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York, and Julie Williams is the Librarian at Sanford Middle School in Sanford, Maine.  What is the top digital tool or strategy you are taking from the pandemic? Manuela: I have come to really appreciate digital tools that allow for asynchronous discussion, and response. The main tools I’m using in the classroom include Flipgrid (for students to record video responses), and Padlet (for students to post short written responses). The nice thing about these tools is that they allow for online “conversation” –…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No- and Low-Tech Backpacks as Outreach

In summer 2019, the Children and Technology committee wrote about bridging the digital divide with circulating tech.  Current events have forced us to evaluate our resources, services, and access. In times of change and uncertainty, libraries connect families with resources and experiences they may not otherwise have. In addition to virtual programs, libraries must connect with families without the time or ability to connect online. One way to do this is providing prepackaged, circulating materials like backpacks and kits. Serving Underserved Populations The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  So far, we’ve focused on: Children with autism and sensory processing disorders Families experiencing financial insecurity and homelessness Spanish speaking populations, and Access to technology Today, we’d like to share how backpacks and kits…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Child Mental Health and Technology: A Useful Tool for Caregivers and Therapists

In today’s new normal, we as a society are faced with the many challenges brought on by the Pandemic: Parents have adjusted to working from home. They’ve become teachers. Children have gone from learning in a classroom setting to their bedrooms; having physical movement to being stationary. Where they previously had social interactions with peers, they’re now often in silos watching a single screen throughout the day. After nearly a year of Covid-19, data proves that this has been no easy adjustment by any means. An article by Human Rights Watch outlines just how this disease has devastatingly impacted children around the world. Though what is also discussed are beneficial approaches to alleviate suffering. What I’d like to hone in on is how one organization provides help for the mental health of children due to the effects of Covid-19. Through the National Children’s Alliance , a new useful training is…

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A New Back to School- Dealing with Screen Time

Yes, it is September! This time last year, many students and teachers had either just begun their school year or were gearing up to go back. This year looks a little different. With the pandemic still raging onward, many schools have chosen to start the school year either completely remote or are using a hybrid model where children switch between remote and in-person learning. This means there are many changes to come. With so many students doing their schooling from home, in addition to other media consumption, the concerns over screen time are valid! While previously, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had recommended limits on how much screen time a child should have for children six and up, more recently they have changed this suggestion to creating a family media plan. Through their website, AAP has created a guide on how to set up a family media plan. These…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Zoom Tips for Libraries

If you had asked me in January what new skill I was looking forward to mastering I would not have answered Zoom! But fast forward a few months and the King County Library System’s last open day due to COVID-19 was March 13. After evaluating our options, we created a 10 person Zoom team to produce central programming. Almost 8 weeks later, here are the best practices we’ve adopted. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Shifting your programming online is an iterative process! We have one-stop where staff can find everything they need to know. Live Programming: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Live, Conference Calls Recorded Programming: YouTube and our website Best Practices Shared Central Calendar With 50 branches used to only looking at their calendar, we needed to pivot to a more central approach. We want to offer story times, but we don’t want to have similar programs competing against one another. When…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Technology with Intention

Children and technology. When these two topics are put together mixed opinions abound. Unfortunately, research on this topic has yet to come up with a consensus about benefits and detriments. (1)  In the future, I’m sure we will have a better handle on how digital interfaces affect people and society. Right now, the answers about children and technology all seem to start with ‘it depends.’ As a youth services librarian in a public library, I didn’t get a lot of training on how to effectively incorporate technology into programming. One of my first big programming failures was an evening bring-your-own-device (BYOD) storytime that got zero attendance. (It turned out that an evening storytime wasn’t a good fit for the area’s demographics, so I failed forward, repurposing the activities to be used in my regular storytimes instead.)