Technology Petting Zoos: Visit One Today!

Are you trying to learn how to use digital tools, but you feel stumped? Often, your local or regional library will have a program, a space where you can practice using a cell phone, a tablet, or an e-reader. They call such spaces “technology petting zoos”. Find a technology petting zoo near you and get your practice in today!

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Nursery Rhymes: Happenings With the Children!

Get Ready to Recite at http://youtu.be/leLbW85JM4k

Get Ready to Recite at http://youtu.be/leLbW85JM4k

Click the link within the caption to see me at YouTube reciting the rhyme with the children. (No you do not see them actually: drat those photo release permission rules!) But you can still feel their energy! ENJOY!

Nursery Rhymes Series — Oh Yes! WEEK 2

The children were on task today! (Thank you daycare workers!) First, we rehearsed what is a nursery rhyme. Next, we practiced Hickory Dickory Dock, This Little Piggy, and fell back into Green Eggs and Ham.

At the day’s end many of the children could couple “house with mouse” and “boat with goat” and “fox with box”.

There were plenty of smiles and a few giggles to boot. What a delight!

Autistic and Digitally Literate!

Hello all:
Today I am writing about autism. And while I cannot give the topic the treatment it deserves, a book caught my eye that provoked me to at least start a discussion here.

The book I am referring to is Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Lesley S. J. Farmer.
Seeing the title made me ask:
1. How are librarians extending resources and customer service to autistic patrons?
2. What external resources exist for children with autism?
3. What is the difference between autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders?
4. Can one be autistic and digitally literate?

So… some answers to those questions.
First, autism is defined as a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494/)
Second, autism is a general term which is often used for Autistic Disorder (AD) that is included in the group of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) therefore, actually refers to five pervasive developmental disorders: autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) and pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified(PDD-NOS).

My research has led me to dozen of websites. (I am sure there are hundreds or thousands of them out there for you to peruse.) The sites run the gamut from basic information about autism to sites that allow teens and young adults to write about what it feels like to live with autism. There are also soft-sell to hard-sell advocacy groups defending those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. And yes, I found one that helps librarians serve patrons with autism (See http://librariesandautism.org/index.htm.) Finally, while the autistic discussion is still new to me, I believe one can be autistic and digitally literate thanks to such devices as the Nabi Tablet.

For now I leave you with:
http://autism.lovetoknow.com — This website has real-world tips for improving social skills, encouraging interaction and communication, and understanding a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
http://autism-hub.com — The Autism Hub is central point for blogs about autism from autistic people, family members, and students/professionals.
http://www.nabitablet.com/inspire — The Nabi Tablet is featured as a computer tablet for children with autism.

Do add what you know!

Library Programming: Journaling and iPad Use

Hey all:
I was just considering a library programming idea.
I’d like to try having children, ages 8-12 use iPads while practicing their writing in a 3 or 4 week series. First, we could talk about basic writing skills such as knowing what makes a sentence a sentence. Then, the idea of paragraph construction could be discussed and practiced. Finally, we could use iPads to construct our letters/entries and share them on ???? (Hmmmm… not sure about what site to use for sharing all the happenings. WordPress maybe?)
Let me know if you have tried this and what would work better or best!

Directing the Digital Natives

What’s a digital native?* — a digital native is a person born after digital technology was introduced into society. Since this group has been around and often immersed in digital technology they are very comfortable using the computer and the Internet?( How many times have we heard or said, “I’ll get my grandson or my kids to show me how to use the Internet or open my email. “You know young people know technology!”)
This generation expects technology to be a part of their everyday work and recreational activity. The challenge for we digital immigrants*, those born before digital technology was introduced into society, is to keep up with them while still ensuring that they learn the 3R’s and information literacy skills to boot**!
Share your thoughts!

* These terms were first coined by Marc Prensky, American educator.”

** See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aya43MnWTxQ