We’ve all seen story apps with knockout art and animation – digital eye candy so vibrant, lovely, and/or filled with whimsy we may just want to slip into this new world and stay forever. Which is why adults, who do all the reviewing and buying of kids story apps, go gaga for apps that look great. And of course, story apps need to look great on the screen. After all, we’re talking about creating content for a visual medium.
But story apps have the word “story” right in there for a reason. They need an actual story to qualify. A boy sitting down to slurp a loooong noodle isn’t a story. When a length of pasta is a story’s only protagonist and it doesn’t even speak or do anything, well, we’ve truly entered the realm of PDD (Plot Deficit Disorder).
"According to Lunsford, the writing we produce is not getting worse. Instead, it is simply adapting to the modern world.
“It was very clear as we entered the new millennium that writing was undergoing really, really profound changes, probably more so than in the last 2,500 years,” Lunsford says. Writing, she says, is “a plastic art. Writing always changes given the context. It molds itself to the changes.”
Young people today approach writing differently, she also thinks. Rather than organizing a piece of writing based on a logical progression, with argument at its base, Lunsford says they are instead organizing their content and material by association. Like a well-crafted essay, one idea leads to another in an associational framework—more akin to organizing a website.
Digital tools have also changed student writing by providing the ability to marry text and other media in ways that can often help them provide greater depth and texture to what they are trying to communicate.
“Writing isn’t just black marks on white paper. It’s full of sound, images, color,” Lunsford says. “I think that students today have an ability to use a combo of words and images. Words free up the images and the images free up the words so they’re both incredibly important but they are doing different things.”."
>A great list of resources for all levels of librarians.
"Here's a megalist for my fellow media specialists/teacher-librarians. It's taken a while to gather all the information and I will continue to add to this page. Currently there are close to 185 sites listed. There is SO MUCH information out there! Please feel free to add your suggestions!"
by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D. This article makes the case that good grades matter far less in school than developing internal strengths like critical thinking, compassion, and curiosity.
Even for children who naturally perform well on academic tests, a good grade is only one measurement of success.
===> A few things that school testing cannot measure include: <===
- Social & Emotional Intelligence
- Critical Thinking
- Capacity to love
Internal strengths, like those listed above, are far more important to a life of success and well-being than whether a child earns an “A” on an Algebra exam or are accepted to a top-rated university. In fact, many tests only measure a student’s ability to produce a correctly memorized answer.
A recent storytime at the Watertown (MA) Free Public Library began, as usual, with a song, followed by a “stand up, sit down” exercise to help the kids settle in. Children read from Don and Audrey Wood’s iconic picture book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. But then came a digital twist.
Emily Miranda, Watertown’s supervisor of children’s services, passed out 15 iPads. Parents and children huddled close and opened The Three Little Pigs (Nosy Crow), an interactive, musical app, which allows children to physically participate in the story. “The characters have these fantastic British accents,” says Miranda. “It’s really fun to watch the kids blowing their houses down. Their snot’s going everywhere and it’s great!”
Watertown’s experiment with “digital storytime” is part of a larger, nationwide shift toward using apps in children’s library programs for education, entertainment, and involving parents in the learning process ...