Thursday, October 17, 2013

50 Apps in 50 Minutes

I just got back from presenting at the Michigan Library Association's Annual Conference with 3 great colleagues (Kara, Lisa, and Alicia) and wanted to share our presentation and some extras.  We presented the topic "50 Apps in 50 Minutes", which includes apps that every children's librarian should be familiar with.  These include apps to make our lives easier at work, apps for story times, apps for programs, and fun book apps.  It was a lot of fun to put together and we are pretty fortunate to be able to use a lot of these apps in our everyday lives.

The Presentation
  • If you missed the presentation or just want to see it again, check out my link on Slideshare
  • Our handout from the program, which includes the apps in numerical order, plus some fun extras (review sources, etc.) can be viewed here.
Other Stuff I Mentioned
We were asked for other ways that we share our app information with parents and I had mentioned our web site.  I did most of the curating of apps and the writing of descriptions and the web team posted it online.  Scroll down to the bottom of our children's page and you will see two big buttons for two different age categories called A+ Apps.

I also mentioned our Tablet Tales program, which is a totally iPad-based story time.  If you have never done one before and have the equipment, I have a post from June which runs through the program.  You can download an outline here for our Farm story time.  We have created an outline for Colors and Transportation, but I haven't gotten posts up on the blog as of yet.  I am currently working out some ideas for a Counting and a Nursery Rhyme theme.

There was also a question about our cases that we use on our programming iPads.  We use the iGuy case by Speck.  My guesstimate of $20 was not close.  It is actually closer to $40.  Here is a link to the site, although you can find them around the Internet.  

After the program, one of the attendees asked which I would prefer for a children's room-AWE stations or iPads.  There are great benefits of both systems.  In addition to early literacy programs, the AWE stations have the keyboards.  On the other hand iPads allow for adaptability.  First, I would look at which direction your schools are going.  Are they using computers or heading towards tablet technology?  Second, do you have somebody on staff who is an app expert or is willing to learn.  When you answer these two questions, you will know which direction you should go.

Something I Forgot to Mention
I forgot about this fact until after the program when I was talking with one of the attendees.  My friend, Kristen Remener (aka Common Core Expert), passed on that eventually testing in schools will be online.  Online reading is a skill, similar to reading fiction or nonfiction, and it is done at different levels.  When Michigan finally puts the Common Core standards into practice, online books and book apps will gain in importance as our kids will need to practice this skill.  The public library is in the perfect spot to be able to offer this.

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