Thinking out Loud: Technology in Storytime?

29 Mar

I actually wrote part of this post for Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy but I wanted to pose this same question (expanded) here as it may reach a different audience:

I’ve been thinking a lot about technology lately, especially as it may apply to storytime in the future. Will there come a time when we use our ipads to show our listeners the illustrations of a book, “swiping” our fingers across the screen to turn a page? I personally don’t think that specific scenario is going to happen soon, but I do think technology could be integrated into storytime in an interesting and fun way. For example, I know that some libraries show a video after storytime, usually an animated version of a book. With a video on an ipad, those of us who do outreach could bring that part of storytime to our patrons wherever they are, without having to worry about the site we’re visiting having a DVD player or TV (or bringing one).  What about interactive flannelboards? All your flannel stories stories stored in an ipad, with the touch-screen technology enabling you to move the parts around as we now do with felt pieces.  More portable, and ready to go without having to hunt through our files.  However, we lose the participatory aspect of sharing felt pieces and having kids place them on the board.  What do you think? Can technology be integrated into storytime in a meaningful way, without storytime losing its fun/learning/heart?

P.S. – I don’t have an ipad (but REALLY want one), so perhaps others have found a way to use theirs in storytime that I’m completely unaware of. If so, tell me how! And then I’ll have just one more reason to want to get one.



3 Responses to “Thinking out Loud: Technology in Storytime?”

  1. Brianna March 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    While I have an iPad and I do love it very much and use it when I can (played a movie for the teens off of it on spring break by hooking it to the projector!) I don’t have any good uses for it during storytime (YET!). I was going to mention a digital storytime I did though! I think it was 2 years ago… I wanted to make our patrons aware of OverDrive and what digital books we had available, and that we had kids books as well as books for adults. I decided to do a digital storytime! I chose 2 picture ebooks and one video book from our online OverDrive collection. I set up a laptop with our projector and movie screen. Here is the setlist I used for my storytime:

    Opening song – Shake My Sillies Out
    Goldilocks ebook
    2 songs
    Little Red Riding Hood ebook
    2 songs
    Bear Snores On video book
    2 more songs to close

    For the 2 ebooks, I just read them off of the laptop while I “turned” the pages on the computer. The kids loved seeing it on the big screen! As you can see I mixed in my normal storytime songs so it was still very interactive.

    The comments I got from the parents afterward were great! They said it was a wonderful way to engage children that have trouble sitting still when they can’t see the pictures in a regular storytime, and it was fun to have something different like that. I was even asked to present how I did this storytime at our district staff training day because it was so popular!

    This was a VERY long comment, sorry! But just thought it might help! This isn’t something I’d do all the time, but maybe once in awhile to spice things up. 🙂

  2. missmaryliberry March 30, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Anne, I agree that storytime is a nice respite from all the technology in our lives. It’s definitely a conflict for me – I think we could do some awesome things with technology, but I don’t want to lose the simple pleasure of reading a book and telling a story.

  3. Anne March 30, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Have you seen the Scrabble app for the iPad/iPhone where you have your “rack” on the phone and then the actual gameboard is on the iPad? A flannel board could work like that if all the kids had their own phone, they could drag the images onto the board. But it’s not as much fun as the tactile experience of moving felt.

    I love my iPhone, but I love to put it down and have a low-tech storytime. I am sure there are lots of cool ideas out there!

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