iPad Apps & Your Pre-reader: an app advisory session by Emily Lloyd
My library recently received an iPad for staff use. In addition to introducing it to storytime, I’m working on an app advisory session to present to parents and caregivers at libraries and preschools this fall, and Cen invited me to share the work-in-progress here. If you’ve done something similar, I’d be thrilled to hear how it went, and I’d also love feedback on what I’ve got here so far.
The program, “iPad Apps and Your Pre-reader,” will tie a selection of free apps directly to ECRR2’s five early literacy practices. I plan to make the most of the hour to not just offer tips on choosing strong apps and exploring them with pre-readers, but to talk about the five practices in a much more extended way than I usually get to in storytime (the session will be adults-only). At its core, it’s a session on the five practices that simply acknowledges that exploring apps together is one more way we can write, read, play, sing, and talk together. Parents and caregivers will also leave with an introduction to and list of exceptional free iPad apps to explore with their pre-readers.
I’m sticking to free apps for a few reasons. One: they’re what I feel most comfortable recommending in a library context. Two: I’ve been able to download and evaluate as many as I wish as I attempt to curate the strongest. Three: the App Store isn’t much fun to navigate, and countless free apps are cluttered with intrusive ads; I consider introducing parents and caregivers to some of the best worth downloading a valuable and time-saving service (“Save the time of the caregiver!”). And four: there really ARE a bunch of great free apps out there. I’m including only ones I can highly recommend, with zero-to-minimal ads, and none with ads that are insidious or difficult to ignore. This does mean that I’ll need to re-review the apps closely before each presentation, as free apps have a way of becoming paid ones or disappearing from the app store altogether.
My slides-to-date are below. Again, feedback and tales of similar programs are highly appreciated–as well as suggestions for fantastic free apps that I missed and should include. Thanks!
Emily Lloyd is a librarian, educator, and writer living in Minneapolis. You can find her online at http://about.me/elloyd74 and on Twitter at @PoesyGalore