Blogger Amy Musser cites panelist Chip D. on how to evaluate early childhood apps.
“Panelist Chip D. from TED Erickson encouraged us to think about the 3 C’s:
Content – Is the content of the app developmentally appropriate? High quality? Intentional in its support of ECRR 2?
Context – Is the app appropriate for the context? Will it be used one on one? In storytime? In another setting?
Child – It is appropriate for the individual child? Each child is unique and their personality, interests, and preferences should be taken into account.”
To the content, or perhaps context, I would add, Is it accurate? A kindergarten teacher who trialled iPads in her class at an international school in Tokyo told me of a handwriting app that would allow a child to form letters any which way. She suggested to always try to use the app “backwards” to see if a child would get the correct result even when using the app incorrectly. So, for example, if the child is forming letters from the bottom or even just scribbling, the app should not give a positive result.
I’m starting this blog to help myself reflect on my practice as a teacher-librarian. It’s not something that comes easily to me. I’m more likely to read/hear/learn about something and try it out, then refine on the go, than writing things done, but hopefully, I can help myself change that and put my reflections in writing.
First things first, about me. I’m Venezuelan and an expat teacher for almost 20 years. I’ve taught in Egypt, Lebanon, China, and now am going back to Egypt. I have been a teacher-librarian for the last 5 years at my last school, and I have a MSLIS from Drexel University, with honors.
I first came to the library via a circuitous route. I was a classroom teacher at my last school for four years and then was appointed the PYP coordinator. It was a part-time job so I continued with my classroom duties, with release time. On recommendation from the PYP I was moved to the library, where I was the information-literacy specialist. After a year, when the then librarian moved to a new school, I moved up to the librarian position. The school had actually hired someone else, but that person had to break contract for personal reasons before ever coming to our school, and I got the job instead. Bliss. Becoming the elementary librarian was like finally coming home.
As a teacher-librarian, I believe that my role is primarily that of instructional partner with teachers. I work hard to collaborate with teachers and help them teach students both content and learning skills. It’s not always easy to reach teachers and convince them of the value of an embedded librarian, but I keep trying. I find that the important part is to build trust by providing teachers with solid and practical help, and I hope that many will find helpful tidbit on this blog.
The hardest part of a blog post for me is often wrapping it up. Today, it’s even harder, because although this first post is momentous, it’s late and my eyes are drooping. So I’ll leave my potential readers with a promise to return soon.