Library Learning Literacy Apps for Little Learners
Kids Educational iPad Pro Krayon Kiosk combines Fun, Education, Technology
With funds provided by the Friends of the Shelby Township Library and other sources, the Shelby Township Library recently purchased three iPad Pro units, which have been mounted on a special kiosk that looks like a giant crayon.
The Shelby Township Library is using technology to bring fun, educational games to children of all ages.
“We don’t necessarily want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, but we also don’t want to be the ones that still buys beta in a VHS world,” Library Director Katie Ester said. “You have to keep up. There was no reason for us to buy more desktops when kids aren’t using them. They’re using their phones, tablets, iPads, etc. So we wanted to be in line with what is current and popular as far as technology is concerned.”
With funds provided by the Friends of the Shelby Township Library and other sources, the library recently purchased three iPad Pro units, which have been mounted on a special kiosk that looks like a giant crayon.
“They’re mounted in kid-safe cases so the kids can’t break them or otherwise improperly use them,” Ester said. “They’re loaded with games that are geared toward children of all ages. For the little ones, there are games that focus on recognizing numbers and letters, beginning to read activities, and stories they can read with their parents. For the older kids, they’ve got games like ‘Stack the States,’ which is sort of like Tetris, as well as some involving history or math.”
Ester said the new kiosk, which was unveiled last month, has already proven popular with children and parents.
“Children of all ages have been fascinated with it; it’s been really popular,” Ester said. “We frequently see little kids with an older sibling, where they’re both sitting, working on something, or the older sibling is showing the younger one how to do something. The best part is when a tiny toddler, who can barely even stand, pulls themselves up and starts to open and close the apps. It’s really amazing to see.”
Shelby Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis agreed.
“I think it’s a great attraction for the younger kids,” he said. “(Ester) has a lot of initiatives going already for the younger crowd, but I think this one is very unique. Hopefully it will bring in even more of these younger families to the library.”
According to Ester, librarians have been working on developing lists of apps to include on the new devices.
“We have librarians who have spent their entire careers learning about resources for children, especially when it comes to technology,” she said. “So not only are they experts in literature for children, movies for children, and ways to teach children, but they’re also starting to become experts in technology for children. They have spent a lot of time browsing through educational websites looking for reviews of apps, asking kids what apps they like, etc. We talk to kids, we take suggestions, we look at reviews; we even download stuff on our own phones and try it out.”
Given the popularity of the new devices, Ester said she would eventually like to see two kiosks in operation at the library.
“We would love to have two stations in a bigger space,” she said. “We would also like to have a dedicated teen space, with a tabletop version of the kiosk. We could have them (the iPad Pros) loaded with teen games like Minecraft, which is so popular right now, as well as homework helpers, research databases, etc. So we would love to be able to incorporate that more throughout the library, little by little, when we have space available.”
To check out the new kiosk, visit the Shelby Township Library located at 51680 Van Dyke, north of 23 Mile Road – Michigan.