Welcome to the Digital Neighborhood: A Fred Rogers Center and Little eLit Digital Literacy Symposium, by Claudia Haines
This was a week of collaboration. Librarians and early childhood education experts teamed up in Harford County, Maryland, to talk with more than 80 librarians and educators as part of a grant from Comcast to expand the Harford County Public Library system’s digital literacy efforts. We had two goals: to talk about what’s new and what’s still true in the world of new media and young children, and to train librarians in their evolving role as media mentors. The successful training included Tanya Smith from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Dorothy Stoltz and Kristen Bodvin from the Carroll County Public Library (Maryland), and myself, Claudia Haines, from the Homer Public Library (Alaska).
While in Harford County, Tanya and I also spent time with families of young children at the Abingdon and Bel Air branches to talk about what to consider when using digital media with young children, tips for choosing apps or any digital media, and then how to explore them with their children. Both the training for professionals and the discussions with families included rich conversations and thoughtful questions, demonstrating that collaborations leave us all better informed.
Here are the slides we shared at the training. The first set of slides are those used by Tanya and I to discuss research, the important NAEYC/Fred Rogers joint position statement on technology and young children, how to evaluate apps and other new media, the role digital media has in the library, and factors to consider when incorporating new media into storytime and other programs.
This second set of slides were used by Dorothy and Kristen to talk about Every Child Ready to Read and early literacy.
We discussed a variety of apps and resources that librarians and educators can use to guide their digital media use with young children and their families. We wanted to make those available here, as well as share the several handouts we brought.
Five Practices & Early Literacy Components Support Each Other
Homer Public Library’s new media brochure for families
Rubric for Evaluating New Media
NAEYC/Fred Rogers Position Statement- Key Messages
Claudia Haines, Little eLit Curation Coordinator
Youth Services Librarian
Homer Public Library ~*~ Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries. Individuals who share their viewpoints, experiences, and presentations in Little eLit blog posts are expressing their personal views and do not represent Little eLit as a whole.