The Library now has Tech Time Totes available to check out. Each contains books, a technology toy, and activities for your child. There are also all kinds of tips for adults on ways to model technology for children.
Notes from Story Time Category: Digital Literacy
Experts recommend parents be very involved in their child’s experience with electronic devices, especially at a young age. Print books and technology can work together to enhance your child’s overall learning experience.
As you read a book with your child, use your index (pointer) fingers to trace the shapes (in the book, on the floor, on child’s back, etc.). Fine motor control helps children when using technology such as a tablet. Children may begin by using both hands and all of their fingers, and then transition to using just one finger to push, swipe, and move things on the screen.
This week our focus is on digital literacy and ways you can use technology to enhance reading or book-sharing time. Sometimes in books you’ll come across animals (such as ones in Slowly, Slowy, Slowly Said the Sloth) that are new to your child—and maybe to you, too. Go to a zoo’s website and see if the animal lives there or search for videos on YouTube. Turn on the volume and see what noises those animals make. Your child will get to see actual photos or videos of these animals in addition to the illustrated ones in the book. Using the internet in this way is great for expanding your child’s curiosity and vocabulary.
Digital literacy is the ability to understand, evaluate, and use information when it is presented by a computer, tablet, or other digital media. With so much technology present in our daily lives, we want to provide information to help navigate the world of technology with your child. Screens should be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Exposure to the bright light of a screen can increase alertness. Bright light at night can also disrupt the body’s naturally occurring circadian (or daily) rhythms by suppressing the release of the hormone melatonin, which is important for maintaining and regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
There are thousands of apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores, but not all apps for children are created equally. All of the quality apps we use in storytime and on our Family Place iPads have been reviewed favorably by children’s professionals in the technology field. The Brown Bear, Brown Bear app is an extension of the popular children’s book. Together, you and your child use your senses of sight, touch, and hearing to put together a grand musical parade. You can even create your own sound effects to add to the parade!
Try reading (or singing) along with an interactive e-book from the web resource TumbleBooks. This large online collection of colorful children’s e-books is free to access from home with a Mount Prospect Library card. The link can be found on the Kids Page of the Mount Prospect Library website.
With the rise of technology in our everyday lives, it’s important to look at how we are using it with our children. Enhanced interactive digital books are a great way to engage with your child while reading to them. Tapping, moving, and reading are all important when using these apps. The Stellaluna app by Living Books is both fun and educational. You can find more storybook apps on our iPads in the Family Place.
Here is one tip for making your child’s digital experience more meaningful. The Library has a variety of picture books that have been turned into movies. These movies are only a few minutes long and feature the book’s illustrations as the text is read. It can be a lot of fun to see a favorite story in a new way. Many of these movies are on Playaway View, a preloaded video player. Playaway Views are just the right size for little hands.
Children like to learn about what interests them, and bugs are very interesting! In the Bug Mazing app (found on the Library’s iPads), there are many different bugs that you can use as the hero. Then, check out books about bugs that you can share together.
Touch is one of the five senses that children use to learn. Using a device allows a child to touch and manipulate a screen, which is one skill needed for digital literacy.
–Tip by Dana Folkerts, Assistant Head of Youth Services.
Singing can help your child with learning to read. You can do this by saying rhymes, singing songs, reading books, and by interacting together with apps. Try making a band together using the free app Toca Band at home on your Apple device or at the Library on the iPads.
–Tip by Laura Bos, Youth Technology Librarian