Digital Storytelling: Setting the Scene
I had a meeting with some awesome children’s librarians at SCCL who are helping me on the road to digital storytelling. I showed up with an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a Kindle Fire and a smart phone, all ready to show them how we could use Go Away Big Green Monster, Blue Hat Green Hat, digital photographs and Felt Board in our new digital storytimes. I was ready to hit the ground running and show them some cool stuff.
“Go high tech or go home,” said I, “No more of this analog storytime nonsense! Let’s lead the way into the brave new world of digital storytelling! Take no [luddite] prisoners!”
“Yay!” said they.
How do we deal with the fact that some of our libraries have smart rooms, with projectors in the ceiling, plug-in-and-go speakers and lots of space for the kids, and other libraries don’t even HAVE program rooms? How do we deal with crowds of 100+? Groups of only 3? What if we’re still using CDs instead of an iPod and the cords for the projector are a tripping hazard and it’s too darn complicated to set all this up just for an app or two?
Some of our communities are tech savvy already and might not want their children to have “more screen time,” and some of our communities are very low income and don’t have access to any kind of high quality interactive media. One special needs group that we were hoping to use for a pilot project has requested that no technology be used in programs at all (the kids work with interactive/assistive technology already- they want to focus on physical/sensory skills).
So there I am, ready to dive straight into the techy stuff, without considering that from some librarian’s perspectives, I’m asking them to do something which will require cables, projectors and hassle, and some of the branches don’t even use iPods in their storytimes.
We decide to go small. We’re going to try to set up a pilot project in a low-tech library with a special needs groups for low-functioning young kids (the other group was 5th-7th graders). I’m going to contact a children’s librarian in a large, high-tech branch to see if she can throw an app or two into one of her already existing programs. Another children’s librarian is going to use an iPad (no projector) with one of her very small storytime sessions. When we started this I thought it would be me holding the iPad, showing these other librarians how to do it; it turns out I may just be facilitating by asking my colleagues to try out an app on their crowd. And it’ll be my job to keep the apps, ideas and inspiration coming.
I think I can do that.