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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Apps, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 272
1. App of the Week: FridgePoems by Color Monkey

Title: FridgePoems by Color Monkey
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free (for basic vocabulary set)

It’s National Poetry Month, and there’s no easier way to promote the creation of verse poetry than setting up a public access tablet with this fun app.

photo

When you launch the app, you get a “working” space with a handful of words, but you can zoom out to see more. Dragging the word boxes with your fingertips allows you to reorder things to create your verse.

Writers are not strictly limited to the words on screen. You can draw for new words or invest in themed WordPacks ($1 each for hipster tragic, redneck, hip hop, etc. or $3 for all of them). The provision of verb endings and plurals can add some variety as well.

You can save your poem to your camera roll, which inserts the App’s watermark, or share it using integrated social settings.
photo (6)

My students have been enjoying that special thrill that comes from creating something meaningful from a limited set of words and word endings. They only thing that could be better? Book- and technology-themed wordpacks!

For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

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2. Zola Books Makes iOS App Social

zolabooksZola Books has updated its iOS reading app. The update comes a couple of months after the company acquired the social recommendation app Bookish.The acquisition brought new technology and social sharing capabilities to Zola. With the new update, Zola is adding the ability for readers to add comments in a book on a line by line basis, as well as to share inside of books. The app is also now preloaded with 17 classic books. In addition, the app update now allows users to sign in using Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Goodreads.
The update comes as the social reading business has been shaken up in recent weeks. Last month, Readmill revealed plans to shutter its social reading platform. On the flip side, Wattpad announced $46 million in funding.

 

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3. App of the Week: Path on

Path on LogoTitle: Path on
Cost: $1.99
Platform: iOS

If you like to take pictures with your iOS device or know teens who do, you will definitely want to check out Path on. At first glance it may just seem like another photo captioning tool, but what sets Path on apart from other apps that allow you to add text to your images is that it gives you complete control over where you place your text. From a simple caption at the bottom of a page to a curved caption that follows the mountain at the back of your picture to a complicated pattern of words that fit into the spaces around your subject, this app makes it easy to achieve impressive text effects.

When you first open the Path on app, you have the option to tour their gallery on Instagram, or start creating your own images using those already saved on your device or by taking a new picture. Selected images can then be cropped and, as a nice added feature, the app even includes automatic tools to crop an image to fit the standard size on Instagram or for Facebook cover images or profile images as well as most of the standard image sizes you would find in photography. After the image is cropped, you can select how you would like the text to appear on the image. The app includes automatic options to write text in a square, circle, spiral or standard paragraph format and you can also unlock an automatic heart shape by liking the app on Facebook. But, what really sets this app apart is the option to instead draw your own path onto your image. To do this, you simply select the draw option and then trace the desired path or paths on your image. You can have non-continuous paths and the app will ensure that the text follows the exact order in which you drew each line, giving you an impressive amount of control over the entire process. For more detailed paths, you can also zoom in and out on the image. There are also options to undo your most recent drawing or to clear the entire image. All of these tools make it fairly simple to create a complicated path for your text very quickly.

Once you have selected a path or drawn the desired path for your text on the image, you can type your text and then edit it to make sure it exactly matches your vision. Text can be typed in any of hundreds of fonts or, if you would prefer, you can even opt to mix up to five different fonts on a single image. You also have control over the color of the text, the size, the letter spacing, the shadows and can easily change the layout of the text with the tap of a button. You can also edit the image itself with the built in cropping tool, images filters and other effects. Once you are happy with your creation, you can save it to your device, email it to anyone or share it on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or Twitter all from within the app. Path on is a very fun option for image captioning and is well worth checking out if you frequently create and share images on your iPhone.

For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

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4. A Literary Map of San Francisco

literarycityThe San Francisco Chronicle has created a literary map of San Francisco online called The Literary City.

The interactive map plots literary facts from around the Bay Area onto a Google Map. Readers can find locations from novels, see where authors lived and wrote, as well as read passages from books set in the city. The map also includes a list of bookstores and Literary Journals that are currently active in the city.

Check it out:

This interactive literary map of San Francisco celebrates the region’s storied past and tracks its ever-evolving present with descriptions and locations of independent booksellers, a compilation of roughly 300 Bay Area authors, dozens of landmarks, and writers’ passages about places that fired their imagination.

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5. Wattpad Raises $46 Million in Series C Funding

wattpadmobile304Digital writing community Wattpad has raised $46 million in Series C funding. The money will help fund an expansion in the company’s team in Toronto. Wattpad is planning to move to a new downtown office space at the end of the month to accommodate the growing team. The money will also go towards supporting product development and community growth.

“We’ve grown 200% since this time last year and tens of thousands of people join the Wattpad community each day,” stated Allen Lau, Wattpad CEO and co-founder. “We’re on-track to become one of the most successful consumer Internet companies in the world. With this latest investment we’ll continue to build a Toronto company that has global impact.”

According to Wattpad’s latest revelations, the company now has 25 million members worldwide, who collectively spend 6 billion minutes a month engaging with Wattpad content a month. Interestingly, Wattpad is the leading app in the Philippines. In addition, 10 percent of overall Wattpad traffic comes from Spanish-speaking countries.

 

 

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6. App of the Week: Storehouse

storehouse logoTitle: Storehouse
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS

Storify is one of my favorite tools on the web – the app is a little glitchy – for taking content (images, videos, Tweets, etc.) and putting them together into a story. Storehouse takes a similar approach and gives users the chance to combine text with images and video in order to create a tale about a topic of interest.

For teens the Storehouse apps is a great way for them to take those images and videos that they take on a device that’s in their pocket or under their arm, and turn them into something that helps to tell about their lives, places they’ve been, events they’ve participated in, and so on. It’s a great tool for giving teens the chance to go beyond the image to the story behind the image.

The app is pretty simple to use. The first step is to tap on the + icon on the top right. That opens up the screen for adding images and videos that are either stored in your iPad photo library or in Dropbox or on Instagram. (Teens will have to connect your Dropbox and Instagram accounts to Storehouse if they are going to import photos from those services.)

example of Storehouse select images screenWhen the library that’s going to be used is open, the next step is to tap on the images or videos that will be used for the Storehouse story and they are quickly added to the story in progress.

Then, just give the story a title, Storehouse will select a cover image for the story but it’s easy to change that. And, it’s possible to crop images at any time too.

The images are imported into the story in the order in which they were selected, but once agein it’s easy to drag them around to put them into the order you want.

At the top of the screen is a button for adding text and a button for adding new media. If you select the text button teens can add either a header, “normal” text, or a quote. I do have to say this is where I got confused. The text is always entered above the photos that have been imported. Here’s the trick. Once text is added, the photos need to be dragged to where they should appear in the story – above or below a particular piece of text – and that creates the flow of the story. It’s easy to do once it’s clear what is required.

At any time in the process the story can be saved as a draft. Even if the story is published it’s possible to go back and add or change images, videos, or text. Once a story is published it’s can be shared on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Unfortunately, Storehouse stories can’t be embedded into web pages. That’s a feature that teens would probably like to see so that they can add them to Tumblr and other websites easily.

Here’s a video from Storehouse on how the app works.

Teens have lots of stories to tell related to the videos and images that they take on devices. Let them know how they can use Storehouse to do just that.

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7. Rooster App Imagines eReading in Short Installments

roosterThe creative forces behind Plympton and DailyLit have a new serialized fiction app designed to make reading more convenient to do during short windows of time. 

The idea behind

Rooster is to make it easy for busy people to read books over a series of 15-minute increments. Rather than wasting time playing Candy Crush on the subway, Rooster hopes people will spend this time reading books, which are served up in bite-sized installments. Every month, the app releases two new books — one work of contemporary fiction, another classic. For $4.99 a month, you can access both books through the app.

We caught up with Yael Goldstein Love, Rooster’s co-founder/editorial director, to discuss the project.
continued…

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8. E-Books and Apps in Storytime – #pla2014

Combine Saroj Ghoting, the wonderful early literacy expert and Cen Campbell, the fearless new media user, and you get some terrific ideas about how to use e-books and apps in storytimes. Their focus was not to argue if, when and how much when it comes to app use in storytimes, but to accept the reality–families are using and will continue to use media with kids. If we don’t wade in and position ourselves as the experts, we leave the playing field open for Disney, Nickelodeon, Fisher-Price, etc. Go to littleelit.com for app lists, discussions, training ideas, programming tips, etc. by wise librarians from all over the place.

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9. Narrative Magazine Now Has iOS & Android Apps

narrativeLiterary publication Narrative has a new iOS and Android app, that gives readers access to the magazine’s entire back catalog for free. This expands the digital readership of the publication beyond just Kindle.

The app features stories, poems, essays, interviews, cartoons, and features by authors including Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Alice Munro, E. L. Doctorow, and Jane Smiley, among others. The publication will automatically update the app every week with new content including the featured Story of the Week and Poem of the Week. The app also features the “iStory” and “iPoem,” features which are short reads as selected by authors. The idea is to help readers with busy schedules fit literature into their everyday lives.

“Our goal in the evolution of digital media is to encourage and support literature by connecting readers and writers as directly as possible,” stated Tom Jenks, cofounder and editor of Narrative.

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10. Jack Prelutsky’s new poetry app!

 

app photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

app photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

April is National Poetry Month!

One of my favorite children’s poets, Jack Prelutsky has a new poetry app, The New Kid on the Block – interactive storybook of poems!  It’s based on his book, The New Kid on the Block and includes a collection of eighteen poems that will make you laugh out loud!  The app was created by Wanderful Interactive Storybooks and Living Books. 

To begin your poetry adventure, Click on either “Read to Me” or “Let Me Play.”   Scroll through the

Forty Performing Bananas! photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Forty Performing Bananas! photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

selection of poems, then pick a poem!  Jack Pretlusky will be your guide.  To select a poem, click on the arrows.  To play inside a poem, click “Let me play.” While you’re deciding, Jack Pretlusky will sing you a poem about an alligator.  This will make you smile.

One of the key components in a good book app is the ability to clearly see and hear the words.  The New Kid on the Block app does this and more!  In this poetry book app, you can tap on any word to hear it speak.  When you’re listening to the poem, each word is highlighted so you can follow along with the reader.   For example in Forty Performing Bananas, you can click FORTY and the word forty is read out loud with dancing bananas!  

Explore Jack Prelutsky’s website

Two more poetry apps:

For more poetry ideas check out a few poetry websites and past ALSC poetry blog posts:

This month’s blog post is by “Poetry Paige,” ALSC Digital Content Task Force.  We would love to hear from you.  Please email us at digitalcontenttaskforce@gmail.com or add a comment below.  

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11. Bookspotting App Tracks Scenes From Scottish Books

bookspottingPublishing Scotland has partnered with technology company Spot Specific to develop an app that plots the locations of scenes from Scottish books onto a map.

The app is called Bookspotting and is available for iOS and Android devices. It includes data points from thousands of books ranging from fiction to children’s literature. Users can search for characters, authors, themes and by location. The app contains recommended literary tours, guiding users through the adventures of characters. It works without an Internet connection, so that readers don’t have to find an Internet connection to use it. There is even a feature that directs users to local book stores.

The app also serves as a book recommendation engine, suggesting Scottish reads based on a user’s preferences. (Via The BBC).

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12. iPad Use and Babies: Throwing a Wrench in the Works

I think we all uttered a collective scream as one when news of this particular Fisher Price toy came to our attention this holiday season past:

ipadchair 500x250 iPad Use and Babies: Throwing a Wrench in the Works

It’s called the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat and out of curiosity I wondered if it was still on the market.  Indeed it is, and the comments on Amazon make for a day’s worth of reading right there.  Naturally the notion of strapping your child into a device and forcing them to look at a screen ala Clockwork Orange (admittedly a baby in a bowler would be ADORABLE!) isn’t the most soothing thought in the world.

What reminded me of the existence of this terribly toy-related miscalculation?  Nothing more than the recent slate of articles discussing small children and screen time.  Parents these days have to take a stand on what they believe is an appropriate amount of screen time with any kiddo.  The facts aren’t entirely in on the matter, but that’s not stopping anyone from voicing an opinion.

Undoubtedly the most trustworthy is probably going to be the American Academy of Pediatrics, in large part because they haven’t an agenda in mind.  Their piece on Media and Children states without equivocation, “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”  Seems pretty cut and dried.

But then there goes the Today Show throwing a wrench in the works.  Surprise: Doc who devised screen time limits says iPads may be okay for babies.  Come again?  According to Today the statement comes from Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, who co-authored the American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 guidelines that frown on media use by kids younger than 2.  His defense?  He wrote the guidelines before iPads got big.  He argues that iPads, because they are interactive (unlike television) are a far better use of a baby’s time than TV or other passive activities.  All well and good, but the piece does also mention that we don’t actually know how they affect developing brains at this time.

What I don’t quite get is what Dr. Christakis is attempting to do here.  Let’s look at it logically.  If he is right, and babies can benefit from iPads, does that outweigh the danger of giving some parents all clear so that they can ignore their kiddos for long swaths of time?  At one point in the piece he says, “This is not just to allow their child to play willy-nilly for hours and hours.”  So the best case scenario is that everyone with a baby and an iPad follows his advice, the babies play with iPads and get marginally (and there is zippo evidence of this, I might note) smarter, and everyone’s happy.  The worst case scenario?  That people strap their babies into these devices for hours at a time, it has no benefits, and is indeed detrimental to the developing brains.  Basically, I just want to know if he thinks this is worth the risk.  Honestly, is it the worst thing in the world to advise parents not to let their kids do iPads before the age of two?  What problem is Dr. Christakis solving here?

Back in August the Washington Post wrote about the fact that toy companies looking to promote the educational benefits of apps found themselves up a tree without any evidence on hand.  So who do you trust in these cases?

Simply thinking aloud.

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13. Miximal Is A Children’s App That Animation Fans Can Enjoy, Too

Animator Lucas Zanotto has released a follow-up to his Drawnimal appcalled Miximal. It's a mix-and-match style children's game in which different combinations of animals can be created. Little bits of animation accompany each section of the animal, and when all three pieces align into a complete animal, the creature peforms a short act.

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14. BitTorrent Sync Now Available on the Kindle Fire

Screen-Shot-2013-09-05-at-10.00.46-PMFile sharing platform BitTorrent’s newKindle Fire app has gone live. The BitTorrent Sync app lets users synchronize encrypted folders and files across multiple devices.

The company has been experiencing momentum in recent weeks. Last week the company released BitTorrent Sync 1.3 for their Android and iOS, as well as a new mobile platform for Windows Phone.

The app is designed as an alternative to the cloud for big files. Users don’t have to worry about compressing files before uploading them. The transfers are encrypted and data and personal information are protected by private keys which are not stored on a server in the cloud. The app is free and is available in 10 languages including: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Chinese and Portuguese.

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15. App Advisory for Parents

Screen shot of the apps we suggested for toddlers and preschoolers.

Screen shot of the apps we suggested for toddlers and preschoolers.

How often have you been asked “Can you recommend apps for my child?” If you haven’t had that question yet, it’s probably just a matter of time as more families and schools acquire tablets that they need help figuring out. I’ve been getting that question with increasing frequency at my library over the last couple years and have had conversations with parents, kids and teachers about apps. While librarians have access to a few great professional review sources, it can be really frustrating for parents who are looking for curated lists of app suggestions. The typical app review website can be difficult to slog through and the reviewers’ qualifications are often ambiguous. Cen Campbell of Little eLit has been working with librarians and others in the early childhood education field to develop an app recommendation, curation and evaluation tool, which is much-needed and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. However, even with better online tools, there will still be demand for one-on-one advisory that helps people find the right apps for their specific needs. And that’s where we public librarians come in! “App advisory” is a natural extension of services we already provide to our patrons, like readers’ advisory. To help satisfy this need, my library introduced a series of app advisory programs this fall, called “Appy Hour.” The concept is that we provide food–“app”etizers!–and show patrons a variety of apps around a theme. (I can’t take credit for the cute name or concept; a bunch of other libraries have used the name over the last couple years.)

The Operation Math app, which was a big hit at our program. It's math meets a James Bond-esque spy.

The Operation Math app, which was a big hit at our program. It’s math meets a James Bond-esque spy.

Last month, another children’s librarian and I did our first Appy Hour on “Kids’ Apps (For Parents to Know About).” Our adult librarians will be doing sessions on “Librarians’ Favorite Apps for Adults and Teens” and “Library Apps” later this fall. For the program on Kids’ Apps, I started by briefly going over a few websites I like to recommend to parents for finding app reviews. Then it was time to get to the apps! We provided a handout with about 50 apps we selected, divided into three groups: toddler/preschool, grades K-2, and grades 3-5. They were on a variety of topics, from alphabet apps for the younger kids to math apps for the older kids, and across a range of price points, although most were in the $1.99-$3.99 range. We focused on apps for Apple devices because that’s what we have at our library, but about half were also available for Android through Google Play. We projected our iPad and demonstrated how to use about 15 of our absolute favorite apps, pointing out why we selected them and highlighting some of the features. Because the patrons couldn’t see how we were manipulating the apps (they could see the projected screen, but not the iPad screen itself), we described what we were doing as we went along.

Little Fox Music Box app, a fun app for preschoolers.

Little Fox Music Box app, a fun app for preschoolers.

We got a very positive response to the program and our patrons seemed happy with our suggestions. It also ended up being a great way for us to gauge our community’s needs; we learned more about what types of apps our patrons are interested in and at what price point. With this knowledge, going forward we’ll be better able to anticipate and respond to our patrons’ app advisory needs.

Are you doing app advisory, either as a program or informally, at your library? Tell us about it in the comments!

Liz Fraser is Children’s Librarian/Technology Coordinator at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, IL and is a member of the Children and Technology Committee.

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16. Let’s talk iPads, part deux

My first post back in July was about how to get tablets for your library. Now I present to you the basic set-up and results of our new service from the glorious benefits to those pesky pitfalls.

Once our proposal was approved, we got the ball rolling with (1) publicity, (2) setting up security restrictions, and (3) downloading apps onto the iPad. We approached publicity in a variety of ways. First, we set up teaser signs at the Apple Stand to promote the up-and-coming devices. We then printed out our Apple Stand rules just to give people an idea about how to interact with the iPads (these would then stay up when the iPads were available). We sent a press release out to the newspapers and we put an alert in our newsletter.

Are you ready to get your iPads ready for public use?

  1. Set Up Your Apple ID—Then sign in each iPad to your new apple ID.
  2. Set restrictions (Settings–>General–>Restrictions) to secure iPads from wandering fingers. Although patrons can still access your settings menu, there can be no permanent damage done, such as accessing your account, purchasing apps, or setting up an email.
  3. Gather admin apps into one folder and put on second page. Unfortunately, you cannot delete these apps from the iPads, but, once your restrictions are set, even roving fingers won’t be able to do any damage to them.

So we had chosen our list of apps and now I needed to get them onto all 5 devices. From my first time buying apps (and a few revisions later) I created a detailed record of the steps I took (document found on my personal blog). I did this because I would be sharing the responsibility of purchasing apps with 2 other team members.

So we finally made it! All our apps were bought! All our settings were set to maximal! The mounts were newly gleaming and ready! But would people actually like them as much as we hoped? Would parents sit with their children and be engaging with their children and the iPads?

TabletAt my library, patrons were quite appreciative of the new activity to do in the library. We have three mounted in the Early Ed room and two behind the desk for in-house use only. The mounted ones are definitely the way to go. Our iPads behind the desk have only checked out 6 and 7 times since August 1, but the mounted tablets are used all the time, oftentimes having all three in use.

There were a few unexpected trials to test our diligence and our patience but we continue to persevere. These included:

  • Creating an iPad troubleshooting document for staff to use (if the problem is not too complex)
  • Dealing with unattended children at the iPads. This is a tricky situation. There are usually three situations with three responses:
    1. Sometimes the child might be completely unattended in the library and she finds a fun toy to play with while her caregiver is off in never never land. It is explained to the caregiver that they need to be with their 7 and under child at all times while in the library (a long established rule). They must also sit with their child while at the iPads because the devices are expensive, they could unintentionally alter the settings, and we encourage parent-child interaction.
    2. Other times, the child may be old and responsible enough to use the iPad alone while his caregiver is looking for books in the same room or doing a puzzle with the younger sibling. So far, we have had no problems with children mishandling the iPads. They are typically entranced and respectful of the technology. Also, the way the devices are mounted discourages shaking and dropping (because you have to reach to touch it and it is not in your lap and you don’t have to hold it up).
    3. If the child is toddler/preschool size (size works, quizzing everyone’s age all the time does not) then we identify the parent and explain to them that the devices are expensive. They can also unintentionally alter the settings so they need to sit within touching distance of the child. And look! There are headphones for you, too!

Unfortunately, for the times a child plays with the tablet by herself (while the adult is nearby), this does ignore the purpose of the iPads as educational tools to be shared between child and adult. We encourage shared time when we can but we are not a police force and choose to pick our battles.

So, what will you have to do to maintain this service? Your monthly duties will include (1) buy your apps, and (2) update iPads with current iOs software (about quarterly). An overview of your weekly duties include: (1) clean screens with alcohol/water mix, (2) manually close all apps, (3) delete all pictures and reset background & lock screens to default picture, and (4) ensure that all apps are in their folders.

It’s honestly not too bad once you set it up. My biggest piece of advice is staying organized and keeping detailed instruction sheets. Keep at it, I belieeeeeve in you! Please ask me about any of the particulars and you can find more details and documentation on my personal blog at www.librarybonanza.wordpress.com.

********************************************************

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Kelsey Cole is a youth services librarian at the Fremont Public Library in Mundelein, IL. For more details on this process, visit her personal blog at www.librarybonanza.wordpress.com for more than you can imagine.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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17. Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing with Technology

“We all have only one life to live on earth. And through television, we have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it in creative, imaginative ways.”                                                                                                   Fred Rogers

When Mr. Rogers looked at the new medium of television in the 1950s, he saw nothing of value for children. But instead of writing it off, he saw the potential of the new medium to reach children and crafted an entirely new approach and way of using television. That is the model that I look to in using technology with children. Do you approach new media with fear or look for the potential, for “creative, imaginative ways” that enrich life?

Many librarians are familiar with and emphasize the five practices of ECRR2 (Every Child Ready to Read 2) in library programs. Can we highlight these practices with intentional use of technology? These would be good ways to model best practices for parents and caregivers.

talking

Visit the Fred Rogers Center’s Early Learning Environment or Ele (pronounced “Ellie”) for short. Here you will find a variety of media focused on improving children’s language and reading skills. You can create your own Ele, search by age, activities (talking and listening, reading, writing, playing, arts, math & science) and media type (books, videos, games, songs, interactive tools, mobile). The Ele brochure notes that “Talking is teaching. Talking with children is a great way to support early literacy skills. For every activity on Ele, we provide suggestions on how to talk about it, and why it matters.” The Ele is a wonderful resource to recommend to parents, teachers, child care providers and others in your community as well as to find some of the best media you can use yourself.

singing

Try the Everyday Grooves app (free) from the Fred Rogers Center which provides catchy songs to accompany everyday activities and help parents create a sense of routine for their children. Examples include getting dressed, bathtime, brushing teeth, clean up, and my favorite, “We Like to Read.”

Sing along with Grow A Reader (free) from the Calgary Public Library which includes videos of 25 different action rhymes and songs. Features some pretty awesome librarians too!

reading

Does your library subscribe to Tumblebooks? Have you ever used one in a storytime? Incorporating one can be a great way to make patrons aware of a library resource that is often underutilized. In storytime I like to show the print book and then the Tumblebook. In a read-aloud Tumblebook, the text appears on the page and words are highlighted as the book is read aloud. The other day I was helping an ESL tutor find materials and she was delighted to discover this feature. She explained that parents of the children she tutors want to help their children learn English and understand the importance of reading aloud, but they do not know how to read English themself. The Tumblebooks can make it possible for these parents to read aloud with their children.

Explore the International Children’s Digital Library (free, there’s also an app!) This one-of-a-kind library is devoted to children’s books from around the world, many of which are not available in any other format, in many different languages. The site’s interface is designed based on research by children — thus you can search by color of cover, and other kid friendly ways..

 writing

Touchscreens are great for those little hands that don’t have the fine motor skills to use the mouse or even grasp a crayon yet. Squiggles! is an open-ended app that encourages creativity. When children are done and press go, their scene comes to life, teaching them that the marks they make are meaningful. (free)

Storybird is a website focused on storytelling (free, with registration required). A variety of artwork in different styles is provided, and you write the story. This tool is great for parents and preschoolers to explore together. Suggest starting with just three parts – beginning, middle, and end – to help young children begin to understand the structure of a story. I encourage children to think of their story first, before using the computer. Then, choose artwork. Children can tell the story (talk!), while the adult responds, prompts as necessary and transcribes their words. My son’s preschool teacher took the time to ask children about what they drew and wrote the words on the back of their artwork. These words explaining his first scribbles were his first stories. Storybird is another way to create stories and since they are digital, can be easily shared with family far away.

playing

Have you tried “Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App” from Mo Willems? ($5.99)

It’s all about creating a story, with children helping choose items for the story, and starring the Pigeon of course. Children have more control depending on their age: at the most basic level, the egg, the app uses shake and create technology, whereas the chick allows children to make choices. They can also record their own voices and make as many silly stories as they like.

Alien Assignment is an “augmented reality” app from the Fred Rogers Center (free). Children must interact with their environment to accomplish their mission of helping the aliens fix their spaceship. It has a scavenger hunt feel, where children must take a picture of “something you sit on” so the computer can fix the captain’s chair, or take a picture of “something smelly” to fix the garbage disposal. This app requires getting up, moving around, and talking with an adult . . . and it’s really fun!

Families will enjoy the wonder of the day from Wonderopolis (a site created by the National Center for Family Learning “to help you find learning moments in everyday life”). Curiosity, the desire to learn, begins with wonder . . . and this is a great place to start.

Technology changes rapidly and there are so many choices facing parents today that it can be overwhelming. The latest guidelines on media use by the American Academy of Pediatriacs state that  “Parents, educators and pediatricians should participate in media education, which means teaching children and adolescents how to make good choices in their media consumption.”(See more at: Managing Media) Librarians can help parents discover some of the best resources out there. Media literacy skills can be built along with early literacy skills. We can encourage parents to be involved with their kids media diet, to ask questions about what they are doing, and most of all, to explore new media together. In the midst of it all, we can continue to talk, sing, read, write, and play with young children.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/quotes-that-show-that-mr-rogers-was-a-perfect-human-being

Robin L. Gibson is a Youth Services Librarian at the Westerville Public Library in Westerville Ohio and member of the Children and Technology Committee.

0 Comments on Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing with Technology as of 11/9/2013 12:22:00 AM
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18. Electronic Writer’s Notebooks

It's hard to know which note-taking or journaling app is right for you 'til you give a few a try. After using Day One, Noteshelf, and Penultimate, I have a better idea of which one suits me the best (I think).

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19. Electronic Writer’s Notebooks

It's hard to know which note-taking or journaling app is right for you 'til you give a few a try. After using Day One, Noteshelf, and Penultimate, I have a better idea of which one suits me the best.

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20. Me gusta Cat Spanish (so far)

nomegusta

A peek at the new “Cat Spanish” app from Memrise. We’ve only just begun playing with it. Will report back later when we’ve worked with it for a while (mainly Rose; she’s the one learning Spanish), but it’s safe to say it’s a hit so far. Conversational phrases with amusing kitty photos: you have us at hello.

basta

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21. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: December 13

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. As in last week's roundup, there are lots and lots of book lists, as well as several links to holiday gift guides. I will certainly be giving lots of books this year, especially to the kids in my life. Can't think of any of the kids who aren't getting at least one book, actually... Happy reading and gift-procuring!

Apps

Literacy, families and learning: Great Science Apps for Kids Aged 6-12 Years from @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/rIFJl

Author Musings

Author Jeff Kinney: I’ve realised childhood is a universal condition | @MetroUK http://ow.ly/rIIeK via @PWKidsBookshelf

Dolls in Literature: An Author Panel http://ow.ly/rIHAK @PublishersWkly #kidlit

Susan Cooper: libraries are the frontline in the war for the imagination | @GuardianBooks http://ow.ly/rIHUy via @PWKidsBookshelf

Book Lists and Awards

Some different choices from other lists in the Parents Magazine Best Children’s Books of 2013 | @tashrow http://ow.ly/rIEKi #kidlit

Stacked: "Best of 2013" YA List Breakdown, Part 2 http://ow.ly/rGaEk @catagator #yalit

Can't argue with most of these: 10 Young Adult Novels That Adults Should Read from @airshipdaily http://ow.ly/rE9BN #yalit

Latino Children's Literature That Should Top Lists from @NPRBooks http://ow.ly/rE9ka via @PWKidsBookshelf

Responding to last week's @WSJ article, @StaceyLoscalzo shares recommended Children’s Books for Grown-Ups http://ow.ly/rE2RW #kidlit

2013-0829_frca-logo_for-webInto the Wardrobe: The Winners of the 2013 Filipino Readers' Choice Awards http://ow.ly/rE2NJ @TarieS #kidlit

The best children's literature of 2013 according to @GuardianBooks http://ow.ly/rE2hF via @bkshelvesofdoom #kidlit

The Cath in the Hat: A Year-End Round-Up of favorite #kidlit. Like me, Cath adores SOPHIE'S SQUASH and PENNY http://ow.ly/rE28B

12 Days of Mysteries: Day 1 at Sleuths, Spies, Aliblis with fine #kidlit mystery picks from @KKittscher http://ow.ly/rBlid

16 Winter-themed Chapter Books for Kids recommended by @momandkiddo (I love BREADCRUMBS) http://ow.ly/rBkEQ #kidlit

Guy Friday- Foul Trouble review plus list of basketball-themed books for middle schoolers from @msyingling http://ow.ly/rx25o #kidlit

It's Here! NYPL's Children's Books for Reading + Sharing 2013 | @NYPL http://ow.ly/rwYX1 via @bkshelvesofdoom @FuseEight #kidlit

Diversity

Quite a solid response from @Jonathanhliu @GeekDads to questions about his male-author dominated picture book list http://ow.ly/rwZZj

Nice! Raising sci fi/fantasy loving kids to be the decent fans of tomorrow, w/ diverse SFF for kids @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/rz6Ma

Gift Ideas and Guides

A message to those without children about buying gifts for kids from the mom at I Gave Up By Noon http://ow.ly/rE3AQ via @fuseeight

Matchmaking with Books | How Becky Levine helps find books as gifts for kids http://ow.ly/rBmtD #kidlit

Making a list? Check these twice! | Suggestion lists for finding holiday gifts for kids from Joanne @ReadingRockets http://ow.ly/rBmRT

Looking for the just-right children's book this holiday season? @Scholastic Give the Gift of Reading Guide can help: http://bit.ly/1966CCJ

Growing Bookworms

I do love the idea of book advent calendar. I'm going to try it next year. Meanwhile, read about one at Sunlit Pages http://ow.ly/rGqlY

Boys Read: Want a Boy to Read? Listen First. Guest article from Jake Ball @Booksforchildrn on helping boys find books http://ow.ly/rBmbv

Matching Books to Readers: @growingbbb reviews + likes @ZoobeanForKids book subscription service http://ow.ly/rBkc0

The 5Rs: Encouraging Early #Literacy Skills while reading with toddlers + preschoolers, from @readingwithbean http://ow.ly/rBhk1

Kidlitosphere

Very nice! @100scopenotes + @mrschureads are giving away The 2013 Notable Children's Books from @NYTimes list http://ow.ly/rBlC7

Infographic | Homes of Classic Literature w/ floor plans. Incl. The Secret Garden http://ow.ly/rx2tC @terrysfabrics via @bkshelvesofdoom

On Reading, Writing, Publishing

Stacked: "Best of 2013" and "Best of 2012" YA Lists Compared & What We Should Talk About http://ow.ly/rIFFa @catagator #yalit

A Writer Can Be... a Super-Sneaky #Cybils Student: A Guest Post By @LauraPSalas http://ow.ly/rG6QS @scbwi via @leewind

Remember when books looked like this? "Who decided that only baby books should have pictures?" asks @LaurelSnyder http://ow.ly/rE2wC

Cynsations: Guest Post: @gregpincus on Writing & Marketing with Serious Lead Time http://ow.ly/rE2mR @CynLeitichSmith

Down-to-earth advice for writers on the publication process from @camphalfblood Rick Riordan http://ow.ly/rz6Qf

Love this! Waterstones spoofs Amazon drones with owls @TelegraphBooks http://ow.ly/rx0mN via @tashrow

RT @tashrow Kent University ‘penitent’ after belittling children’s books | Books http://buff.ly/18Xv8py #kidlit

Well-done piece by Alexandra Alter in @wsj on adults reading + driving up sales for #kidlit http://ow.ly/rwWKV #ChooseKind

Parenting

Words on parenting to live by in this post sharing thoughts from Erma Bombeck @staceyloscalzo 's blog http://ow.ly/rBl4R

Picture Book News

Mr-Tiger-Activity-Kit-cover-231x300Mr. Tiger Goes Wild fans, you can now download a printable activity kit from @itspeterbrown website http://ow.ly/rE5zj via @blueslipper

Via @100scopenotes the next @The_Pigeon Pigeon book will be THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH (4/1/14) http://ow.ly/rGaRF #kidlit

Programs and Research

Good to hear at Guys Lit Wire: Many Thanks for a MOST Successful Holiday Book Fair for Ballou! http://ow.ly/rIFg2 @chasingray

Have You Registered for World Read Aloud Day? How will you celebrate? asks @frankisibberson http://ow.ly/rBkv9 @litworldsays

Schools and Libraries

Depressing! Los Angeles School Libraries Losing Materials as They Lose Librarians | School Library Journal http://ow.ly/rIHer @sljournal

Pew's Internet Study: How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities. http://ow.ly/rG9jo via @bkshelvesofdoom

Top Ten Ways to Encourage Children to Read Over Winter Break by @katsok @nerdybookclub http://ow.ly/rz6WW #literacy

A very nice success story on creating a reading culture in a high school by @djolleywrites @nerdybookclub http://ow.ly/rx1I1

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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22. The Cybils Shortlists Are Nigh!

Cybils2013SmallTonight at midnight (Arizona time), the Cybils shortlists will be announced in all 11 categories (plus some sub-categories). Stay tuned at Cybils.com for the finalists. 

I truly believe that the Cybils shortlists are one of the finest resources that the Kidlitosphere has to offer. They are the result of > 50 round 1 bloggers (teachers, librarians, parents, authors, and more), who have read their way through more than 1300 nominated titles across the various categories. These tireless readers have winnowed each category down to a list of five to seven titles that believe are the most kid-friendly and well-written of the bunch. 

The Cybils shortlists are available by age range and genre (poetry, graphic novels, non-fiction, fiction, speculative fiction, book apps). Each list offers a wonderful starting place for anyone who is looking for great new books for a particular child. You can browse past shortlist by going to Cybils.com and following the links in the upper right-hand corner. For this year's lists, as I said, stay tuned. They are coming in just a few short hours. And they are fabulous! 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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23. Slice Bookshelf is Shutting Down

rsz_screen_shot_2013-06-06_at_102731_amBookshelf, a social discovery engine from Slice.com that helps readers find books based on friends’ recommendations, is shutting down.

The discovery tool allowed users to create lists of recommended reads and share these lists with friends. The company explained the reason to GalleyCat via email. “We’re focusing on improving our core product, Slice, developing new features and experiences, and expanding existing ones like Recall Alerts, Price Drop Alerts and package tracking.”

Bookshelf users will be getting an email about the closure along with instructions on how to transfer their account to Goodreads. Users can download their reading data through April 30.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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24. Ownshelf, eBook Sharing App, is on Kickstarter

ownshelfDeveloper Rick Marazzani hopes to raise $7,500 on Kickstarter to fund further development of an app that allows users to share their eBooks.

The app is called Ownshelf. Aiming to be “Goodreads meets Dropbox,” the app lets users search for book recommendations among their friends and then borrow those titles from their friends and vice versa.

Users can upload DRM-free eBooks to their account to create a virtual bookshelf that can be shared with friends. Friends can browse each other’s shelves and vice versa to look for books and then download their friend’s copy. We only recommend using this for public domain books and books in which the authors encourage sharing.

The app has been around in beta since last year, but the company is seeking new funding to help take things to the next level. Here is more from their Kickstarter page: “Our team spent the past year building the infrastructure and Beta website for Ownshelf. Over 20,000 people have signed up so far, helping us test the service, and offering valuable feedback.  Now we are on Kickstarter to build a mobile/tablet app so it is even easier for your friends and family to share eBooks across devices.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. Alina Chau's traditional watercolor on a digital landscape.

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0 Comments on Alina Chau's traditional watercolor on a digital landscape. as of 3/13/2014 2:35:00 PM
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