E-Tots – Digital Literacy for our Littlest Patrons

22 Jan

I just finished up a quick program this morning using the library iPads to highlight some fun and educational apps for toddlers and preschoolers.  I don’t have any of my own kids, so I know that many parents use tablets and phones as ways to entertain and educate their kids.  And there are not many if any at all, of longitudinal studies showing the effects of this type of technology on child development.  So, we decided to offer a program to highlight quality apps for parents and kids and to exhibit how to interact with your child to create a nurturing and learning opportunity.

I read aloud Press Here by Hervé Tullet, one of my absolute favorite books for storytime.  The kids love to participate, even from their seats and they totally buy into the magic of the book.  It’s complete genius, if you ask me.  I then passed out the iPads and explained a little bit about the Press Here app and let the families explore for a little bit.

Then I let them know that there were other apps available to explore today, which were Toca Tea Party, Sago Mini Monsters, Moo Baa La (Sandra Boynton), Farmyard and Felt Board.  Our program ended up being just over 30 minutes.  I read a story for about 15 minutes and gave the families about 20 minutes to explore the apps.  I thought that was plenty of time for the kids to be sitting still and staring at a screen.

I think next time I’ll go over a few tips for parents about using apps with their kids.  Today I just went around interacting with the kids asking them questions about what they were playing and asking extension questions about the apps.  For example, “What does a duck say?”  or “What color is your monster?”  I think this is a program I’ll repeat maybe once a season, highlighting new apps as I find them.

This is the brochure (iPad apps) I created with some of the popular apps that we passed out to the parents.

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