[kids-lib] What cool tech do you use in your programs?

Gretchen Kolderup gretchenkolderup at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 14:02:49 PDT 2018

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some recommendations! What's your favorite educational
technology you've been using for school-age programs?

Background: We've had positive community response to coding workshops
(using various Hour of Code apps on our iPads), stop-motion animation
workshops (again using an iPad app plus a giant pile of toys and craft
supplies), and our Dot and Dash robotics <https://www.makewonder.com/>
workshops. We've also used our Ozobots <https://ozobot.com/> here and there
for both programs and outreach.

I'd like to expand what we can offer next fall, and I'm wondering what you
all have used and liked. LittleBits? Sphereo? Osmo? Here are my primary

   - Needs to be something that can be used over and over (i.e., nothing
   that gets put together once and then stays that way)
   - Should be a good experience for kids ages 7-12 or so (I'm looking for
   something with a low floor and a high ceiling)
   - Can't require us to have a fleet of Chromebooks or computers or
   anything that we can use during the program (although we do have iPads)
   - Fits nicely into our current format of four sessions, each 90 minutes
   long, with about 12-15 kids working in pairs (this also puts price
   constraints on what I'm looking for since I'm planning to buy ~6 of them)
   - Bonus points if it might one day lend itself to being circulated as a
   kit -- while we're not there yet, I think that might be another direction
   in which our offerings evolve
   - Double bonus points if you're also in the Portland metro area and
   would be willing to let me borrow whatever you're suggesting from you and
   noodle around with it for a week or two! (And obviously this is reciprocal:
   if anyone's curious about Dot and Dash or the Ozobots, I'd be happy to show
   them to you!)

Thanks a lot, everyone!

Gretchen Kolderup
Youth Librarian
St. Helens Public Library
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