Reblogged from Never Shushed by Claudia Haines.

I’m in Anchorage at the Alaska Library Association’s annual conference, AkLA, this week! I’m presenting workshops on new media with Cen Campbell from Little eLit, talking about teen services with other Alaskan librarians, and catching up on what’s happening with young people and libraries around the state. Questions about how to use new media in storytime, how to evaluate new media, recommended apps, and how to find apps for free have all come up. I thought I would post the information on evaluating  book and play apps that I share with families at my library so you could see, use, and comment on it. What do you provide parents in your library to help them choose and use new media with their children?

For those of you who attended our workshop and session, stay tuned to the AkLA conference site for links to discussed reports, a list of the apps we used, and our slides (to be posted on the Little eLit site).

Choosing Digital Media

  • Make intentional decisions about digital media with your kids
  • Explore newly downloaded apps on your own before exploring them together with your pre-reader
  • Look for apps and other media that help you and your child write, read, play, sing and talkTOGETHER (the 5 early literacy practices for your pre-reader)
  • Consider the 3 C’s: Context, Content, Child (discussed in Screen Time by Lisa Guernsey)

Book Apps
Look for book apps that have:

  • Meaningful interactive elements that add to the story and are not only for interactivity’s sake (Interactive elements shouldn’t distract from the story)
  • A great story with high quality images
  • Plain, highly-readable font
  • Read-to-me and read-to-myself options
  • Settings for turning on/off music and other sound effects

Play Apps
Look for apps that are:

  • Fun to play over and over again
  • Offer open-ended play
  • Encourage creativity
  • Strengthen one or more of the early literacy practices
  • Age appropriate

And have:

  • Intuitive way-finding
  • Clean, uncluttered display

In-app Purchases and In-app Ads

  • Is the app free of in-app purchases or in-app ads? If not, are they easily ignored and hard to get to?
  • Does the app developer state it will NOT collect data about you or your child within the app?

Use the settings within each app or the device’s general settings to:

  • Disable in-app purchases
  • Require password for in-app purchases

Review Sources

Developers to Check Out

  • Night & Day Studios
  • Toca Boca
  • Loud Crow Studios
  • Auryn
  • Spinify
  • Oceanhouse Media
  • Software Smoothie

Digital Media and Kids Resources

  • Fred Rogers Center http://www.fredrogerscenter.org
  • Sesame Street Workshop http://www.sesameworkshop.org
  • Common Sense Media http://www.commonsensemedia.org
  • Moms with Apps http://momswithapps.com
  • American Association of Pediatricians’ Media Use Position Statementhttp://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/5/958
  • Screen Time : How Electronic Media-From Baby Videos to Educational Software-Affects Your Young Child by Lisa Guernsey (Basic Books, 2012)
  • Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty, Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital by Susan B. Neuman  and Donna C. Celano (Teachers College Press, 2012)

  • Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John G. Palfrey (Basic Books, 2010)
  • The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age by Lynn Schofield Clark (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Posted on March 1, 2014, in Literacy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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