Apps in Story Times & Digital Kids at Pierce County Libraries Part 2: Michelle Angell
This post is the second in a series about the Digital Kids project at the Pierce County Library system. See the first post here.
I have really loved the convenience and practical physicality of using eBooks and apps in storytime. I use an Apple TV to project my screen onto a large wall mounted TV that we have in our meeting room. It’s like having a big book without trying to awkwardly hold it and read from it at the same time. I am able to focus more on my reading and presentation of the book, because I don’t have to worry about making sure everyone can see, and the toddlers can stand without blocking someone’s view
As an example we read Bill Martin Jr’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear (ibook) on the TV screen together and sang along to Greg and Steve’s song of that book. I also had success with Ed Emberly’s Go Away Big Green Monster (app), reading through the story as it was projected through the TV worked beautifully. I unleashed a somewhat controlled chaos by using the Animals sounds app with animal flannel board pieces in toddler time. Since I have a smaller group every child got a different animal flannel board piece and when they heard their animal noise they got to walk up and place their flannel animal on the felt board. This would have worked a little bit better with preschoolers, but was still fun with the toddlers.
For my Baby story time programs I am reluctant to direct the babies’ attention to the screen with apps or ebooks. Instead I, like Naomi, have tried using the apple TV to project the words to the rhymes songs and fingerplays that we do for the parents. This worked so well when I tried it! So much easier than making and hanging posters of lyrics and less distracting than giving handouts to parents with the words on them. When our next session of storytimes start in January I am going to use the presentation option in Google Drive to project the babytime rhymes for the parents. I am also going to try to use My Music from Google Play to run all my storytime music through the iPad and apple TV. I could never get iTunes to successfully play music and display an image at the same time, but it seems that Google Play might be the way to go.
Now that we have had sort of test run in last fall, I’m planning to use more of the iPad this winter and can let you know how it goes.
Youth Services Librarian
Lakewood Pierce County Library