Early Literacy Tips on Screen, by Anne Hicks
Since I had my flat screen television and Apple TV installed, I’ve been testing out various ways to utilize them in storytime. From the beginning I’ve used it during toddler storytime to mirror apps, ebooks, and song sheets. I had not used it during baby storytime because I was unsure how best to use it with this age group and whether I should use it with them at all. I believe that tablets can be used with very small children but the use should revolve around child and adult interactions. That is more easily achieved through one-on-one sharing of a tablet. A fleet of tablets would be perfect for that but alas, I only have one storytime tablet (which I am very grateful to have!).
I decided to use the iPad to mirror early literacy tips onto the big screen. I try to keep it very simple with just a few tips per storytime. I have “branded” the information by including my library’s logo. I leave the information up throughout the entire storytime and have definitely noticed people reading it and commenting on it. I had previously included early literacy tips on my handouts but wasn’t sure how many of the caregivers were actually reading them. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try sharing the information in another way, and it seems to be pretty effective.
Another thing I plan to try during my next session of baby storytime is to use the iPad to mirror the rhymes and songs we’ll be reciting. I hope to just put one rhyme/song up on the screen at a time and swipe through them as we go through the storytime. This idea occurred to me, but I talked myself out of it thinking that parents would rather have the paper handouts. However, during my last storytime, a mother actually said to me, “Have you thought of using the TV to share the rhymes?” She said she would prefer that because then she wouldn’t have to try to keep the paper sheet out of her daughter’s mouth and would be able to focus on the rhymes more.
So I’ll give it a try and see how it goes. The wonderful thing about having this technology available is that I’m able to test out different ways to use it and see what works best for me and my patrons.Anne Hicks is a Children’s Librarian with the Henrietta Public Library. ~*~
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