Blog Archives

Final @cdmsj Books on Screen Pilot; Next Steps for Continued Programs

associationmuseumLast week I completed the final program in a series of digital storytelling pilot programs at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. We are planning an ongoing set of programs (perhaps once or twice monthly) which will be sponsored by Bookboard. I’m working with Bookboard to both manage their library (traditional librarian stuff like weeding the bad stuff and acquiring more of the good stuff) and also experimenting with using their platform as a storyteller’s tool within libraries and/or other institutions that provide early literacy programming. I’ll post promo materials etc once we have our next steps all figured out.

For all my colleagues reading this post (children’s librarians or library school students), I highly recommend working with a children’s museum if you haven’t already. In my experience, they run their organizations very differently from libraries, they have a much more user-centric philosophy than what we’re used to in libraries, and they exist to create spaces where children learn (not where they are “taught;” where they LEARN). Libraryland could learn a lot from museumland. Also, the people who work there are often really quirky, open minded and creative. Reach out to a children’s museum, on your own time if you have to (that’s what I’m doing!)

Trust me, it’s worth it for the learning experience, and they may even have a better storytelling facility than yours. Bust your own paradigm and go to a kid’s museum. Tell them you’re a librarian, set up an appointment or informational interview with the director and ask for a tour of the place. Check out the Association of Children’s Museums, too; they have a lot of great resources for things like play spaces, interactivity, STEM, best practices and training.

Attendance:

I had mostly young kids for these programs, so we slowed our songs down, repeated them more times and did 3 books instead of the 4 I had planned.

11 AM show: 78
12 PM show: 25
1 Pm show: 71

Promo info:

Books on Screen Interactive Storytime
Preschool storytime with a digital twist

Saturday, March 2nd, Thursday, March 14th, Tuesday, March 19th and 26th
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Children’s Librarian Cen Campbell incorporates apps and eBooks into a traditional preschool storytime to support early literacy and language development. This format provides children and caretakers a better view of the books while modeling positive media behavior and helping parents understand how to maintain a balanced media diet in an increasingly digital world. Come and learn new songs and rhymes, and read classic and contemporary picture books on the big screen!

What I did:

Hello song
Parent talking point: Why  ”Books on Screen”? Because it’s a children’s librarian’s job to recommend the best books there are in ANY format! These are some good apps you can share with your children!
Wiggle my fingers
Blue Hat, Green Hat
Activity song: Row row row your boat to the orchard
Farmer Brown had 5 green apples
The Very Hungry Bear
Felt Board: Blue bird (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
The Wrong Book
Activity song: See the sleeping bunnies (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote))
Blow a kiss
Goodbye rhyme: Clap up high

Books on Screen @cdmsj Children’s Discovery Museum San Jose March 19

IMG_20130319_133250 (1)

Brett the Books on Screen Photobomber

This set of storytimes had mostly younger kids (0-4ish) in them; each of the programs I did was different because each group had a different kind of energy. I had a storytime plan to use older, different books because the kids last week were older, but I tossed my plan out the window and did material I had done recently that worked well with younger kids.

Attendance:

11 AM show: 76
12 PM show: 33
1 Pm show: 41

Promo info:

Books on Screen Interactive Storytime
Preschool storytime with a digital twist

Saturday, March 2nd, Thursday, March 14th, Tuesday, March 19th and 26th
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Children’s Librarian Cen Campbell incorporates apps and eBooks into a traditional preschool storytime to support early literacy and language development. This format provides children and caretakers a better view of the books while modeling positive media behavior and helping parents understand how to maintain a balanced media diet in an increasingly digital world. Come and learn new songs and rhymes, and read classic and contemporary picture books on the big screen!

What I did (all 3 shows were different and did not include all of these, so this is more of a list of resources than storytime plan):

Hello song
Parent talking point: Why  ”Books on Screen”? Because it’s a children’s librarian’s job to recommend the best books there are in ANY format! These are some good apps you can share with your children!
Wiggle my fingers

Activities/Songs:
Felt Board: Blue bird (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
Activity song: See the sleeping bunnies (lyrics in Keynote)
Row Row Row your boat
Farmer Brown had 5 green apples
Zoom zoom zoom
Here’s a little bunny

Apps:
Mr Brown Can Moo, Can you?
Trucks
Trains
Goodnight Moon
Saffy looks for Rain

Blow a kiss
Goodbye rhyme: Clap up high

Books on Screen @cdmsj Children’s Discovery Museum

cencdm

This was the second full set of Books on Screen programs at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Things I realized during this set of programs:

  1. I have always had trouble with pacing; I’m a very bouncy, high-energy person and it takes a lot of work for me to slow down and move at the pace of the children (and parents) in the room. When I first started working with apps in storytime I often got annoyed when it took too long for an app to load, or for pages to turn within the app. But now I realize that this might actually be a blessing in disguise because I am forced to slow down and wait for the app before barreling through the story again. I mentioned this in a workshop I co-lead on Friday and we all marveled at how this cutting edge, fast-moving technology is actually forcing some of us to slow down.
  2. Even if we assume screen time is a bad thing all around and that kids get too much of it, using apps in storytime is a way that you can insert a real, live bouncy person into the kid-plus-screen equation. We can model for parents that they really can read an app to their children in the same way they could read a book. We can take what might become bad media consumption habits and make them interactive, face-to-face family time.

Attendance:

11 AM show: 64
12 PM show: 34
1 Pm show: 39

Promo info:

Books on Screen Interactive Storytime
Preschool storytime with a digital twist

Saturday, March 2nd, Thursday, March 14th, Tuesday, March 19th and 26th
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Children’s Librarian Cen Campbell incorporates apps and eBooks into a traditional preschool storytime to support early literacy and language development. This format provides children and caretakers a better view of the books while modeling positive media behavior and helping parents understand how to maintain a balanced media diet in an increasingly digital world. Come and learn new songs and rhymes, and read classic and contemporary picture books on the big screen!

What I did:

Hello song
Parent talking point: Why  ”Books on Screen”? Because it’s a children’s librarian’s job to recommend the best books there are in ANY format! These are some good apps you can share with your children!
Wiggle my fingers
App: Mr Brown Can Moo, Can you?
Felt Board: Blue bird (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
App: Llama Llama Red Pajama App (I used the App this week; last week I used the iBook)
Activity song: See the sleeping bunnies (lyrics in Keynote)
App: Trains
Zoom zoom zoom
App: The Very Cranky Bear
Here’s a little bunny
Blow a kiss
Goodbye rhyme: Clap up high

First Known Video Footage of the Mysterious Creature Known as #AppsinStorytime

Many children’s librarians are excited about the idea of using apps in their storytimes. They see the value of modeling joint media engagement and offering suggestions for high-quality apps to share with kids, but they have trouble visualizing what an app in storytime might look like. Finally I have some video to share, which was taken by my hubby at Books on Screen at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose last week. Our son was in his lap, so be forgiving about the quality of the video. I did another video session at the Museum today and I hope to have some edited, professional footage to share soon. I’ll also post the storytime plans for today’s program as soon as I can too. I’m a little swamped these days and I’ve got a half-day workshop to lead tomorrow at the Watsonville Public Library with Carisa Kluver of digital-storytime.com, and some new friends from the School and Public Librarians Association of the Monterey Bay Area (SPLAMBA).

More Digital Felt Board Songs

These are the felt board songs I did at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. I usually play the first verse on one of my woodwinds with the image showing, then sing the words, and on the third run through of each song I switch to the lyrics and invite everyone to sing with me. I try to establish a beat or swaying motion before every song. That way I can get people to learn the song through audiation (hearing the song in their head before they begin to sing), feeling it in their bodies, understanding the content of the song visually through the felt board image, hearing the words sung and seeing them written. Everyone sings along by the end, even if they don’t know the words, because this is such an information-rich way to introduce a new tune!

Check out our Digital Felt Board Collection for more ideas!

Tablet Tales Demo at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Today I did a demonstration of Tablet Tales for the staff of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, plus some mama and baby guinea pigs that I rounded up from other areas in the Museum. I didn’t do an exact headcount, but I’d say there were about 15 staff members and 25 guinea pigs (if anyone who was there did an exact head count, let me know and I’ll update it!)  The program took place in the Lee and Diane Brandenburg Theatre, which is a 40′ x 40′ black box of awesomeness, with killer acoustics, disco lights and a big screen with projector.  Brett Dearing helped me get all set up with my mic, cables, projector and chairs, and he also let me climb up the ladder to the sound/projector booth and check out all the cool lights and things around the perimeter of the theatre.  What a cool venue!  He took this picture from the booth:

What I did

Come and Follow Me (fife)
Introduction
Hello Song
Wiggle my fingers
Book: Olivia (iBook)
Open and shut them
Book: Peas Porridge Hot, Mary Mary Quite Contrary (from Here Comes Mother Goose)
Shakers: Shake a Little Shaker, Hey-Ho the Rattle-o
Book: Pete the Cat (iBook)
Flannel Board: Blue bird (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
May there always be sunshine (Smoothie Felt Board App; image, then lyrics in Keynote)
Goodbye song: Blow a Kiss
Clap up high goodbye rhyme

What I learned

  1. The projected image was very big; project low so it’s at the same height as me so that the audience understands that I’m still telling the story, even if the “book” is taller than I am.
  2. In a venue that size, always use a mic
  3. Playing my fife to call people into the storytime room is not going to work in a bustling museum with noisy water features and large school groups.  Maybe I should just do a loop around the first floor and hope that as the program becomes a regularly occurring phenomenon, people will know to look for the lady with the fife.
  4. I will have a little more freedom with content in a museum than I would in a library, and people will have fewer pre-conceived notions of what a storytime “should” look like.
  5. The staff at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose are AWESOME!

What I used

AppleTV
iPad
Keynote App
VGA Cable
VGA/HDMI converter
Nexus S (for portable Wifi and Bluetooth)
Projector (specifics forthcoming)

So, what next, and how/why a Children’s Museum?

Next steps will be to meet with the two ladies who thought my idea was a good one in the first place, CDM Executive Director Marilee Jennings and  Education Director Jenni Martin.  We will be working together to submit an IMLS grant to grow this project as a creative collaboration between the Children’s Museum and libraryland.  The idea for this partnership come to me one night when I was feeling particularly frustrated with the slow pace of the development of some of my initiatives; those of you in the library world know how painfully slowly things can move, usually to the detriment of really good ideas.  So I tried to think of other places that I could develop things faster and further, and the Children’s Discovery Museum came to mind right away.  My next step was to find a contact person within the Museum, because the secret to hearing “YES!” is knowing how to ask the right person the right question.  So I sent the letter below to the Chair of the Museum Board and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Adobe, Mark Garrett, who emailed me back immediately and put me in touch with the folks at the Museum.  The rest will soon be history. Keep an eye on this project, people.  We’re going places!

Hi Mark,

My name is Cen Campbell. I am a children’s librarian with the Mountain View Public Library and Santa Clara County Library District, and I run a blog called Little eLit, where I document the development of my digital literacy programming in libraries and keep track of the fantastic new world of interactive digital media for children.

I am writing to you because I have a proposition for a technology-based education project that I would like to implement at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. The Institute of Museum and Library Services offers a number of large grants specifically designed to support innovative, collaborative projects like this. The grant is due in early 2013 and I would be more than willing to put it all together to get the funds for CDM if the museum would be willing to partner (there is a cost share element). It is my experience that going straight to the board is the way to get things done for out-of-the-box initiatives like this; my sincere apologies if this is not appropriate for your organization.

My idea is this:

I’d like to expand on an idea that I’m piloting at the Santa Clara County Library District (they don’t really have the space or the infrastructure to launch a program of the scope I am envisioning; that’s why I’m reaching out to you). I have developed a digital storytelling program called Tablet Tales which makes use of book-based apps, eBooks and other mobile technology to support literacy development. What I would like to do is run larger-scale digital storytelling programs for schools and other community groups, combined with a “tech petting zoo” of book based apps, ebooks, concept and educational apps housed on tablet computers within the museum for use by children and their parents, teachers or caregivers. I am using iPads for my current programs but am open to experimentation with Android. This project would serve a number of functions: helping to close the digital divide that is still alive and well, even in Silicon Valley; train teachers and parents on how to use technology effectively with their students or children; and performs reader’s advisory services in the digital realm (there is a LOT of content for kids in the app space right now, and to be honest, most of it is junk).

I know that the museum already has partnerships in place with local schools (that’s another reason I’d like to partner with you), and there are other ways we could discuss reaching out to the community at large. I am working with two early childhood education specialists throughEarly Childhood Investigations to develop professional development materials on this topic, I will be presenting at the California Library Association conference on this topic and I am currently serving on the Association for Library Services to Children’s Children and Technology Committee (in other words, I have street cred in this area and I’m pretty sure I can deliver a bleeding edge, high quality, never-been-done before program that would make the museum proud).

If this sounds interesting to you, please let me know. I’m open to ideas, too, and would love the chance to speak with you, or whoever else would be involved in a project like this.

Thank you for reading this email. I know your time is precious.

Cen Campbell

LittleeLit.com