November 24, 2014

Ebooks Take Hold in Schools—Slowly

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The adoption and use of ebooks in U.S. school libraries has grown steadily over the past four years, slowed mainly by limited access to ereading devices and cost, says a new ebooks report by School Library Journal, sponsored by Follett.

SLJ Reviews TouchCast Video Creation App for iPad

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Wouldn’t it be great for kids contemplating a visit to your library to take a video tour before walking in? You can produce this pretty easily with TouchCast, an app for creating video for the iPad, enhanced with linked content: photos, maps, polls, websites, and more. Our screencasts show you how it’s done.

Four Librarians, Four E-readers, Two Years

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Two years ago, four librarians at Oregon State University shared initial thoughts about using dedicated e-readers for the first time. We had just launched a year-long study of academic librarian use of e-readers and were excited to share our new-found joys along with concerns about the four e-readers used in the study. Two years later, the study is finished (look for the study results later this fall in Journal of Library Innovation), and the mobile reading landscape has changed significantly due to the introduction of many new and more versatile e-reading devices, especially tablets.

Nexus 7 Versus the iPad: The new tablets strengthen Google’s play for K–12 schools

Nexus 7 Versus the iPad: The new tablets strengthen Google’s play for K–12 schools

Coupled with the much-anticipated Google Play for Education store, the Nexus 7 bolsters Google’s growing claim to the K–12 tablet landscape.

With Google Play for Education, Google Promises a Hassle-Free Tablet for K-12, challenging the iPad

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The iPad has been the tablet of choice for schools, thanks to volume purchasing, volume management, and the vast selection of apps. But that may be about to change. With the recent launch of Google Play for Education, Google is set to challenge the iPad’s dominance.

BiblioBoard Library Grows With New Modules, Subscription Service

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This spring, BiblioLabs, the Charleston, SC–based developer of the free multimedia anthology production platform BiblioBoard Creator, began offering a subscription service that will allow users to download and view anthologies created by libraries and other third parties.

Reading Rainbow Partners With National Geographic Kids, Expands App

Reading Rainbow App and National Geographic Kids.

RRKidz has announced that its flagship brand Reading Rainbow is partnering with publisher National Geographic Kids to expand its interactive reading subscription app, available exclusively on the iPad. The company is also expanding its library with a new branded island featuring dozens of books as well as videos hosted and narrated by RRKidz co-founder LeVar Burton.

Libraries Use iPads and Apps to Ramp Up Storytime, but Concerns Remain

A young patron with an iPad at Darien (CT) Library. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Caserotti.

In a shift occurring nationwide, libraries are conducting “digital storytime,” using apps in kids’ programs for education, entertainment, and involving parents in the learning process. But not everyone’s sold on the use of iPads, especially with very young children.

Global Education Conference: “Apps Galore”

Photo by Pixland

The Global Education Conference, held around the clock November 12–16, offered a wide range of sessions by and for educators. In particular, “Appls Galore” emphasized a variety of ways to use this technology with young students.

Free Library of Philadelphia Resolves NOOK Accessibility Lawsuit

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The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) this week settled the lawsuit filed against it in May by four blind patrons assisted by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Under the terms of the settlement, FLP has agreed to supplement its collection of more than 60 NOOKs with ten accessible devices, according to a press announcement from the NFB. Within four years, the library will transition to a collection of e-readers that are all accessible to the blind, and will begin incorporating an accessibility requirement into its technology procurement contracts.