You might say that the iPad’s been cursed by its own success—full of mid-to-low quality apps that tease kids with free offers. Here’s a starter list of better apps, with something for every youngster.
In March 2011, the Boise Public Library (BPL), ID, used $3,300 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding to purchase four iPad 2 tablets and all of the trimmings. As it turned out, BPL may have been a couple of years ahead of its time. This conversation is now coming full circle. Technological advances continue to make tablets lighter, faster, and more affordable. Vendors have recently launched interfaces that make it possible to use a staff tablet to perform tasks ranging from weeding books to signing up new cardholders. Also, applying lessons learned about these devices during the past five years, many libraries are rebooting or enhancing the way tablets are integrated into roving reference, off-site programs, and other workflows.
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.
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.
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.