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ECRR 2.0: Cen & Saroj at PLA 2014

Saroj Ghoting downloading an app for the very first time

Saroj Ghoting downloading an app for the very first time

At midwinter I had the pleasure and the privilege to share brunch with someone who has been supporting me since the beginning of my new media in storytime advocacy campaign: the effervescent Saroj Ghoting.

Saroj and I will be presenting ECRR 2.0 at PLA in Indianapolis in March, and we’ve got a killer program lined up.

Here’s the details:

ECRR 2.0: Using Apps and E-Books in Early Literacy Programs
March 13, 2014 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Parents and librarians want to know how to safely integrate apps and e-books into their lives without feeling guilty. Join Cen Campbell and Saroj Ghoting as they shares why apps are useful and successful and should be incorporated into early literacy programming; how to model healthy media behavior; and what is the current research on the effects of digital media on children.

Here’s a brief outline of our program:

  • Demonstration New Media Storytime
  • The Five Early Learning Practices and how to support them with new media
  • Joint Media Engagement
  • Content vs Format
  • Apps that work well, Apps that don’t (and why)
  • Where to go for more information

I’ll also be showcasing some new media guidance at the ECRR preconference:

Put It into Practice: Implement Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library
March 11, 2014 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Join us for a full demonstration of an ECRR 2.0 workshop with hands-on activities. A panel of children’s librarians and early literacy experts will share tips, along with their experiences and insights into using ECRR 2.0 in a variety of settings. Special topics will include foundational early literacy skills; community partnerships; informal ECRR presentations; using volunteers for ECRR outreach to low-income neighborhoods; training caregivers and parents; and seizing the opportunity to be a positive partner with families around the topic of media and young children.


LittleeLit at PLA: Every Child Ready to Read 2.0

I’ve just gotten confirmation that I’ll be presenting about Every Child Ready to Read at PLA in Indianapolis; first at the preconference and then later at a session. Here are the descriptions:

ECRR 2.0 – Using Apps and eBooks in Early Literacy Programs Session (Date/Time TBA):

Parents and librarians want to know how to safely integrate apps and e-books into their lives without feeling guilty.
Join Cen Campbell as she shares why apps are useful, successful and should be incorporated into collections & programming, how to model healthy media behavior,and what is the current research on the effects of digital media on children.

Objective 1:
understand how apps/e-books can be appropriately integrated with Every Child Ready to Read 2.0

Objective 2:
be able to find age/developmentally appropriate apps and digital media for use in early learning

Objective 3:
be able to model healthy behavior in early learning programming and talk with parents and care givers about using apps/e-books

Every Child Ready to Read Implementation and Early Learning Environments Preconference (Date/Time TBA):
You are invited to ponder and discuss your knowledge base and goals for ECRR. This two-part workshop is designed to increase your understanding of ECRR. The morning session will demonstrate the many ways ECRR is being used across the country. The afternoon will help you discover the unlimited potential for creating a dynamic early learning environment in your library, no matter your space size or budget. Please join us for one or both sessions!

Objective 1:
Participants will explore at least three effective ways to implement ECRR.

Objective 2:
Participants will identify at least five activities that parents can effectively learn in a workshop to apply right away with their children.

Objective 3:
Participants will learn at least three easy yet innovative methods for transforming library space into a dynamic place for children to play and learn.

Preconference Outline:
Tentative outline Explore How to Implement ECRR in the Morning – we’ll pause for Q&A throughout the session:
1. ECRR workshop run-through – 45 minutes – five practicing librarians demonstrate an ECRR workshop – each taking a piece and showing different styles of presentation
2. Participants will be led in one or two hands-on activities in order to teach parents the activities in a workshop to be able to apply them right away with their children – 15 minutes – Dianne Black takes lead
3. What are the foundational early literacy skills and practices all librarians can benefit knowing – 15 minutes – Judy Nelson takes lead
4. Taking ECRR on the road to community partners – 15 minutes – Mary Seratt takes lead
5. Participants will be led in one or two more hands-on activities – 15 minutes – Dianne Black takes lead
6. How to apply ECRR in small groups of families on the library floor – 15 minutes – Cindy Christin takes lead
7. Training volunteers to present ECRR outreach programs in low-income neighborhoods – 15 minutes – Wendy Resnik takes lead
8. Tips on training adults – 15 minutes – all panelists give one or two tips
9. Cen Campbell – Early Literacy in the Digital Age – 10 minutes – a quick overview and promotion of upcoming ECRR program at this conference called ECRR 2.0: Using Apps and eBooks in Early Literacy Programs
9. Dr. Reid Lyon – will give an overview of where libraries started in the 1990s and how far we’ve come in promoting early learning, participants can Q&A with Dr. Lyon – 20 minutes
If Dr. Lyon is unavailable, times will be adjusted.

Tentative outline Discover New Ideas about Early Learning Environments in the Afternoon – we’ll pause for Q&A throughout the session:
1. Blocks and Play – an easy way to effectively and dramatically change your environment – 40 minutes – Susan Anderson-Newham & Cindy Christin takes lead
2. Color, style, and beauty in fun pre-literacy interactives – 30 minutes – Christy Estrovitz takes lead
3. Discussion activity – thinking about your ideal environment – 20 minutes – Dorothy Stoltz leads activity
4. How to transform your children’s space by easily incorporating the five ECRR practices and practical parent tips into your environment – 30 minutes – Amanda Ellington takes lead
5. Harnessing your ideal –– within your financial means and space dimensions – how to change your spaces into wondrous places and simultaneously respond to community needs. – 30 minutes – Marisa Conner takes lead
6. Discussion activity – developing next steps to reach your ideal environment – 30 minutes – Dorothy Stoltz leads activity

Saddle Up, Colleagues! Apps in Storytime Open Invitation

Ok, well, I’m rousing the troops again.  Here’s what I posted today to get some conversation going about establishing best practices for using apps with kids in libraries.

Hi Everyone,

I am so glad to see that there’s a lot of discussion going on about using apps in storytimes. There are differing opinions on this topic, but the fact remains that the technology is already here, and that it is our professional responsibility as experts in content for kids (regardless of format) to develop some best practices. We need to do this both to guide the use of technology in our programs and collections, and also for communicating effectively to parents and caregivers about the pros and cons of using mobile technology with young children.

Trista recently posted a call for apps that folks have already been using in their storytimes on the pubyav listserv, and I responded with some information about the apps-in-storytime work we’ve been doing at Many of us children’s librarians are already experimenting with using apps in our programs, but there is currently no centralized resource for tips and tricks in this area, though I am working with PLA, ALSC, InfoPeople and a few other organizations to develop some standardized professional development materials (think ECRR or MGOL with apps).

The children’s library community is WAY behind ECE educators, researchers and administrators in making use of mobile tech with young kids; we are not trailblazing here, we are catching up to the rest of the world’s current media use. Young children are already exposed to digital media; there is no question of that, and frankly, any personal opinions on that matter are irrelevant to this discussion. What can we do, as a profession, to give parents and caregivers the best information about HOW (not IF) to use their smart phones and tablets with their kids in the most positive, literacy-supporting way possible?

We are in the middle of a format-based sea-change that spans far beyond libraryland and into publishing, pedagogy, multi-literacies, special needs education, diversity and federal and state policy. It’s a much bigger phenomenon than many librarians realize, yet there is no better profession to step in and make recommendations on the intelligent use of book-based and educational apps with children.

I’d like to invite those of you who are already using apps in your programs, or who would LIKE to use apps in your programs, to contact me off-list or through to discuss working together to develop a community of knowledge in this area. We don’t all need to be re-inventing the wheel on this one, and there are plans already in the works to develop a librarian-curated recommendation service (think Goodreads but for kids apps with recommendations for using apps in programs).

Saddle up, colleagues!