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

Greta Bergquist greta.bergquist at state.or.us
Fri Mar 23 14:53:41 PDT 2018

At my last library, Little Bits were a huge hit for 8-12 year olds in a weekly Wednesday night maker kids program. Pros: Lots of room for variety of experiments, easy to use & get ideas for. Super fun and lots of concepts you could tie into. Cons: a bit pricey and I found they needed to be replaced more often than say, Dash and Dot components.  Also, if you have kids younger than 8, some of the younger kids don’t have the fine motor skills yet for them, the little bits pieces are quite tiny. Below is a picture of a bubble maker fan we made with Little Bits last year:

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I was able to play with Osmo a little bit by sharing it with another library, but it wasn’t as big a hit for my kids – I found that it’s fine for gaming, but for kids who want to truly experiment and make something tangible that they can point to creating, this might not be the best tool. I found it worked well as an add-on component to a program, but not the whole program itself.  But since I didn’t have access to it all the time, others may have a different experience – anyone else use and like Osmo?

Happy Friday,

Greta B

Greta Bergquist
Youth Services Consultant
503-378-2528 | www.oregon.gov/osl<http://www.oregon.gov/osl>
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[cid:image004.png at 01D3C2B6.BB6E22B0]

From: Kids-lib [mailto:kids-lib-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Gretchen Kolderup
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2018 2:03 PM
To: kids-lib at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [kids-lib] What cool tech do you use in your programs?

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 constraints:

  *   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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