Apps alone: a NEW new media storytime

This was my last new media storytime of the summer (read about the first and second), and about the same time that I started really thinking about what I wanted to offer in the fall.

After the less than enthusiastic responses to the print books I read (tried to read) during my first storytimes, I decided to ditch the book and do an entirely digital program for this last one. I did a lot of thinking about what the point of the storytime was:

  • to model good apping and joint media engagement to parents
  • to address concerns about media use for hesitant families
  • to gently steer families who use new media as a babysitter in a different direction
  • to provide concrete and quality app recommendations and RA (AA? App Advisory?)
  • to provide access to both tech hardware (the iPads) and software (paid apps that they can try before purchasing)
  • to provide an alternative format to traditional, book-based storytime for kids who are not developmentally able to handle a regular storytime, no matter how much singing and dancing we do

If trying to read a print book was creating a negative experience for bored kids and parents trying to get them to sit still, then I would nix it. Instead, I made sure to have plenty of books on display along with the toys and iPads for exploration and play at the end of the program.

And it was GREAT. I had a good turn out, and didn’t lose interest of the kids at all. One family came really late, and the kids who were already there didn’t even mind when I went back and re-demo’d some apps that we had already tried– they were happy to help show them off! All the kids were a little older this time, and they were up on their feet playing along with our interactive apps.

Starting in September, this program will be re-born as Appy Hour. I’ll still start with a good book app, demo a few more apps around a theme, and then open it up to free play. After a great twitter conversation with Carissa (aka my app storytime fairy godmother) I’m considering adding a real world craft or hands on experience around the theme. I’ll also have an app bookmark with some tips for joint media engagement, and a handout with the apps we look at each night.

ANYWAY. The apps.

Book app: Four Little Corners

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.19.37 PM

Demo: Super Stretch Yoga

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.20.20 PM

I’ve already learned that the book You are a lion! is magic (entire preschool classes will sit quietly and breathe deeply), and this app had a similar effect on all the kids.

Demo: Drawnimal

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.28.55 PM

Demo: Story dice

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.27.54 PM

Each kid took a turn “rolling” 3 dice and telling a story!

Demo: Sesame Street Family Play

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.27.38 PM

This was were I talked about playing together as a family and snuck in some joint media engagement tips.

All of these apps were GREAT.

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