Right now I’m up on Michigan’s gorgeous Mackinac Island on “vacation”. I decided I wanted to attend a library conference even though neither of my jobs were able to send me officially so I’m taking a “busman’s holiday”. Because of that, I’ve written this entry up ahead of time and have scheduled it to post while I’m away. I’m planning to update again after my return with not only a post about the conference, but also maybe a guest post from the co-worker that will be doing my storytime while I’m away. In the meantime, enjoy this probably disjointed entry about some of my feelings about and plans for tech in storytime! 😀
I’ve been in the process of developing a “techy” storytime; it’s been given it the working title of “Storytime Plus” and I plan to run it much like a regular storytime but with added bonus of storytelling apps or digital books. This, I have found, is a difficult process. Maybe I’m over-thinking it, maybe I’m just not doing it “right” because even though there seems to be a plethora of resources out there I am certainly feeling challenged.
As I said, I’m still working on it and it’s not yet ready for the masses, but it’s something I wanted to start writing about. For now, my thoughts will probably be rather scattered as there is just so much through which I have to sift and there will probably be more as time goes on! One thing I do know is that the eBook debate is still a hot button topic in many circles but I think that regardless of one’s personal convictions the fact that tech is currently and will continue to be a large part of our lives is simply not up for debate.
Though I am a twenty something willingly living in a tech-soaked world, I am not a user of eBooks (gasp, shock!), I am, however, an advocate. I believe firmly in access for all and if access is preferred or only available via electronic format, so be it; it’s not my job to tell them how to access their knowledge, it’s simply to provide said access and to hopefully do so as efficiently as possible.
That being said, I don’t want this to just turn into “hey kids! look at the screen!” I want this to be just as interactive as any other storytime, if not more so, all while using tech. I’ve come across a few felt board apps in the apple store and I think that these are great tools! I think they not only give those of us that are creating and performing storytimes the chance to make flannel boards that we many not have been able to by traditional means, but it’s something that can be taken home and made available for kids to use for themselves. Literacy isn’t only strengthened by hearing stories, but by being able to create them and I feel like this is an excellent way for them to do so.
I’ve talked about how playing is learning and apps like this not only help facilitate playing to learn, but any simple search on the internet will show you that like it or not, tech literacy is incredibly important and I think that any effort we can make to help bridge or stop the digital divide is worth it. I hope that using technologically based tools will kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, in that it will help develop their tech literacy as well as covering all the basics we do in a standard storytime. Fellow library blogger, Anne Hicks, sums up pretty much exactly how I feel in her post on her blog here.
Now, I’m, by far, not the first person to have this idea so luckily there are lots of great ideas out there, it’s just finding what works well for you and your group. I’m looking forward to testing things and seeing how they work, but I’m also quite worried about how it will be received; it’s like starting fresh with storytime and goodness knows that stressed me out!
Have any of you had any experience on either end with tech in a storytime type setting?
Would you like to share your feedback?