Here at Ruckus Media, storytelling is our priority. We teamed up with our friends at School Library Journal (SLJ), for whom storytelling is also a priority, for a Twitter party. This twitter party was our first collaboration. After the results of tonight’s Twitter Party, we can’t be more glad that we got together for this fruitful discussion. We had many questions about the future of libraries and the digital space. One-hundred and sixty-two tweeps gathered to talk about Digital Storytelling and Libraries. We knew it was a hot topic, but who knew that so many librarians and educators were on Twitter?
The conversation went very quickly, and it is clear that 60 minutes may not have been enough to talk about this hot topic. From what we heard, everyone is on board with bringing digital storytelling into schools and libraries but budget remains a huge issue. We also heard that there is a dearth of middle grade aged/YA apps and ebooks in the marketplace.
Here are some of the key concepts we discussed and what everyone had to say. For the full script, check out #RuckusSLJ.
Q1: As a librarian, how do you find out about apps? If you’re a teacher or parent, what do you look for in an app?
HuppieMama: I direct a nonprofit for kids w/disabilities. we use apps to help our children communicate.
Aluchies: For apps, I like SLJ reviews, recommendations from other educators. Have no $ in for apps so am limited to free apps.
kathyfs24: I have a similar problem here in GA, district is exploring ebooks but not tablet devices.
ldelia: I look for quality writing and then all the extra features, read alone, have it read to you, word highlights, etc.
nikki2kids: I look for apps that are age appropriate and interesting for my kids.
bookreeader: I look for free apps, since there is no library budget again for 2nd year.
cppotter: My school is purchasing math and literacy apps for K-2. Teachers use the iPads in centers. Gr.3-5 is focusing on productivity.
Q2: When choosing apps, what criteria do you consider when reviewing apps?
HuppieMama: Most important to find apps that can be used in multiple ways, so children are not bored quickly.
MamaSarahJane: Functionality is very important!
cppotter: Interactivity is important as long as it doesn’t detract from the story or interfere with reading process.
ForkedPgh: If we’re talking in terms of transmedia series, they can be engaging so long as they require the text as a necessary basis.
YFNLibrarian: I use my own iPad in the library, I look for apps the kids can use to share/present their learning.
HuppieMama: Music is very effective with children who have disabilities – catches their attention.
MaryAnnScheuer: Operating options are helpful, allowing readers to engage with app in different ways at different times.
HornBook: I always appreciate when I can choose to turn a feature (music, narration, sound effects, etc) on/off!
bookreeader: App controls need to be obvious and present — not in the settings two clicks away.
tathornton: I’d like to see more apps w primary sources for kids, YA, matches common core standards while engaging.
Q3: Do the best books make the best apps?
YFNLibrarian: I absolutely think a story app is going to reach readers in a new way and reach others who have struggled with traditional books.
CuteMonsterDad: Best books making best apps. It depends on the subject matter and the creativity of the developers.
leperez1: I’m pretty enthused by apps that allow kids to tell their own stories.
keltom2: Not always, I think you can make a lot of books good apps, but it’s fun to have well known characters.
AurynApps: Many books, not just the best, can make great apps ~ esp if they are visual, educational & good animation.
leperez1: Another cool thing are apps that allow kids to curate content around their interests.
ccassinelli: Apps must be aligned – can’t justify the expense if they are not.
Q4: Where do you see the future of libraries and the digital space moving and why?
sljournal: Apps designed for creative uses big hit in schools.
ccassinelli: Libraries MUST embrace digital spaces b/c that’s where our students are!!!
cppotter: Right now I’m using iPad with whole class for research and info. seeking in library.
librariancheryl: I have heard of curating sets of apps on diff devices, e.g., diff. sets of ipads for diff. grade level.
MaryAnnScheuer: For young readers, it won’t be a digital versus print – both will encourage each other. Not an either/or choice.
eBookNoir: Libraries will evolve, they’ll become a repository of digital, on demand content.
mistisikes: A balance between print and digital book formats would be nice.
sljournal: As long as money is tight, some librarians’ hands will be tied. But many are forging ahead, using personal devices at work.
jharaz: I worry about access in the future. Our families cannot afford tablets/ereaders. Books are easier to procure.
MaryAnnScheuer: school and public libraries need to become involved in digital apps, so we can help ensure access.
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