How do we decide what gets pinned to the Little eLit Pinterest boards?
Look to the name of the Pinterest board where an app is pinned for your first clue. The apps we are pinning to the Pinterest preschool storytime board, for example, are apps we have used in storytime, or would be appropriate for use in the storytime setting. Each app is accompanied by metadata that draws attention to a variety of important elements including: interactive features (very important), contribution to early literacy (based on the ECRR skills and practices), age-appropriateness, quality of app (story, images, features, etc.), functionality, kid-appeal, etc. You’ll find reference to these elements in the metadata. At the top of each board, you’ll find a key to the metadata so we didn’t have to use up our 500 word limit with repeated text. (The Pinterest platform has a few limitations!)
For example, the “Apps for STORYtime: Preschool” board looks like this:
For each app, we include:
- Title = What is the full title of the app?
- Developer = Who developed the app? Who created the original book, if applicable?
- OS/Device = Is the app for an iPhone and/or an iPad? Is there an Android or Kindle version? Is there another version?
- Storytime Use = How would you use the with kids in the storytime setting? Does the app incorporate any ECRR skills or practices? Is it a STEM/STEAM activity?
- Technical Notes = Are there any technical details that are important to using the app with kids? Are there in-app purchases and/or in-app ads? Are there parent settings? Is personal data being collected? Are there any navigation issues? Are there any special technical needs?
- Cost at Time of Review = Costs can vary, but what is the estimated cost of the app? An estimated cost can be helpful for board users.
- Age = What is the approximate age for which the app is appropriate? (the app will be pinned to multiple boards if applicable to multiple age groups)
Choosing appropriate apps is not unlike choosing other storytime components, but it is sometimes harder to do because of the sheer volume of apps on the market, the added technology component, and the relatively new use of apps in storytime. This metadata, along with the actual apps we’ve selected, can help librarians find apps perfect for storytime. Part of our effort is to connect librarians with apps to try, as well as to connect librarians with other librarians who can share their experience with the apps and use of interactive digital media in storytime or other programs.
In libraries and schools across worldwide, librarians are integrating interactive digital media into their collections, programs, and advisory services. Recognizing the widespread use of a rapidly expanding array of technology tools–useful for collaboration, learning, and discovery–these pioneers are doing what they do best. They’re using their professional experience to identify quality content; select new tools for use in their programs; model how to use materials with kids; help kids and adults navigate the broadening information landscape; and promote literacy across media.
We’ve talked a lot on the Little eLit blog about the use of apps in preschool storytimes and with kids of all ages. Librarians are sharing their individual experiences using interactive digital media with kids, both here and across the web. Search the Internet and you’ll find librarians and educators testing apps and digital media of all kinds with kids, recognizing that the interactive digital media of today is not the passive media of yesterday.
It’s time to share what we know and what we’ve tested with each other on a broader scale. Librarians already using apps in storytimes, and those interested in incorporating new tools and content into their library programs and collections, need to hear from others about what’s good and what works. Let’s sift through the exploding abundance of digital media available for kids and families and put our “appvisory” skills to work.
And let’s do it in one place.
Little eLit has organized a team of librarians to create a series of boards on Pinterest.com to collect field-tested apps for preschoolers, toddlers, and elementary age kids. With each pinned app, we’re including easy-to-use metadata along with the representative image so librarians, educators, and parents can find out about an app’s suggested storytime use, its value in early literacy, or what makes it a great app for elementary-age programs. We also have some boards for “anytime” apps that might be excellent, but may not be program material.
We need your help to fill these boards with apps field-tested in storytimes and in elementary programs. Check out our Pinterest how-to!
Will you help us?
If you’re using digital media in your library and you’re a Pinterest user (or want to be one),
contact us and we’ll get you pinning!
I wanted an easy way to start sharing my favorite apps with parents. Pinterest to the rescue once again! I already share good book on Pinterest, and collect my storytime and program ideas there, so why not put apps there too? So, I just created a board, and there I can post apps that I personally have used and a tiny little review, plus the price of the app. Nifto-presto, it is done! Here the link to my board. Is anyone else pinning apps? I’d love to follow and see what you recommend!
Youth Services Manager
Annapolis Valley Regional Library