On Starting to Use Apps in Storytime, by Carissa Christner

When I first started using apps in storytime, the things that I was surprised by were:

1. The awkwardness of trying to figure out where to look when I’m projecting from an iPad onto a screen (do I look at the big screen? the iPad screen?  do I sit in front of the screen?  no one’s looking at ME (like they do when I read a book), this is WEIRD!). p.s. I ended up taking Cen’s advice and now I stand, to the side of the screen, holding the iPad, but (as much as possible) looking at the same big screen the audience is looking at.

2.  Remembering to actually play an app all the way through to the end and be sure I know what happens BEFORE I present it in storytime.  I’ll admit that I will still occasionally show an app that’s new to me before I’ve had time to really dig into it, but I’m almost always taken by surprise by either content or length or uncertainty of how to navigate within the app and I always WISH I’d taken the time to familiarize myself with the app better before bringing it to a larger crowd.

3.  Technical glitches.  It worked perfectly when I practiced it before storytime, why won’t it project now?  Have a back-up plan.  Can you just show the app from the iPad screen if you need to?  Do you have an alternative activity instead?

4.  Remembering to share the name of the app with your group so that they can try it at home if they want to.  Either write it down on a whiteboard in the room or post it on paper somewhere or print a bookmark or flyer with a list of the apps you’re using…. something so that you can encourage them to try this new tool at home.

Also, I’ve been LOVING these great slideshare presentations by Emily Lloyd of Hennepin County:

She does such a great job of bringing focus to the WHY of this endeavor and has some excellent sound bites to pass along to parents.

Which reminds me of:

5.  Remembering to include a sentence or two about healthy/balanced ways to incorporate apps into home life.  We’ve done this for years when we talk about how reading to children is such an important part of early literacy–let’s do the same for early media literacy!

Carissa Christner is a librarian with Madison Public Library.

About Amy Koester

I'm a youth services librarian with a penchant for exciting ideas and engaging programs. It's a sure bet that if you talk to me about STEAM, whimsy, and trying new things, we'll be best friends forever.

Posted on February 21, 2014, in Apps, Story Time and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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