It all started with an app. Installing just one little app. Two hours later, there's no app and the iPad is hanging out of its kiosk shell. Why oh WHY is technology so incredibly frustrating?!?! In light of my recent talk on the glory of iPads in our tech-savvy-modern libraries, I am knocked right back down to size with today's recent escapade.
You see, my department head/colleague found a bilingual app. We talked about it. We read up on it. It sounded great, had great reviews so we moved to download it to our children's public iPads.....
But before we could download it we had to disable restrictions.
Then we couldn't disable our restrictions until we connected to our secure WiFi....
Which we couldn't do until we closed out all our running apps...
....and opened our homepage for the WiFi terms and agreement page...
Finally, 20+ minutes later we watched as the app slowly.... ever so slowly... downloaded.
When it finally completed, we knew we would have to backtrack that whole process to enable restrictions once again, but first we decided to try the new app...
Hello? Testing... 1,2 3. HELLO? Do you hear that? Right oh. Neither did we.As luck would have it the app had no sound. This is certainly not a good attribute for a language learning application. I closed the app and tried again. No luck. We opened another app. THAT app had no sound. Hmmmm... We deleted the app. We rebooted the ipad. All apps had sound once again. We re-downloaded that app. No sound on the app or the others again. So here we sit on a gray and rainy afternoon, struggling to get our bilingual app-less iPad to make a sound. For the price of only $2.99 you too can enjoy the hours of technology-maddening meltdowns and have nothing to show for it but a huge headache. Till next time my friends... .
I've been running a Lego program of one kind or another for many years and I've judged it's success mainly by the smiles and engaged brickbuilding of the boys and girls who attend.
Except for me. I was BORED. Very very very very bored. Something needed to change. I read a lot, as you know. Recently, I happened upon a new Makerspace idea using Legos and literacy. Lego was offering a Librarians Toolkit! Yay! I decided to give it a whirl. To start, I followed their curriculum to a "T". Low and behold.... it has been one of the MOST successful Lego programs ever! Adding a literacy (read aloud) element to Lego building is work. Book choices for a group of K-5 who have a tempting bin of bricks in front of them is a tremendous challenge. The planning, the timing, and the coordination takes effort. But the children patiently cooperated and loved every minute of it!
After a few sessions, I decided to add a technology element to the program as well and it's been a hit. Using an iPad I connected relevant videos, to watch on the big screen. For example, after we read Moonshot by Brian Floca, we watched the actual NASA Apollo lift-off followed by the Apollo 11 landing and moon walk. The kids (and the parents that stay) were riveted! This week I used a little magical wordless picture book. We built our own magical places and talked a bit about wordless books and interpreting pictures (art) of author Aaron Becker. They built amazing things and better yet they "saw" the art and books in ways that were truly unique. It really is all about the journey and creating your own magical place. Lego club is mine again!