Posted by: eheino | January 13, 2014

Trends in Interactive Media for Children

In her article, Friedlander identifies 10 different trends in interactive media. Each of these trends will affect the teacher librarian profession in different ways. I am of the opinion that Trend number 5 will have the most impact.

Trend 5: Apps with a strong curriculum focus are on the rise.

“Certified educators are joining agile development teams and assessment modules are being built into app interfaces for teachers to seamlessly integrate specific activities with clear educational outcomes (often Common Core Standards aligned). The volume purchase program available to schools on the app store as well as the trend of schools adopting tablet devices makes this strategy a no brainer for developers hungry for sales volume. The best curriculum based apps are retaining a playful and approachable aesthetic while ensuring academic rigor is in place (Moose Math and Pet Bingo from Duck Duck Moose are great examples). Whether or not apps with such depth will be commercially viable remains to be seen. The current appetite for highly competitive pricing is making true quality unsustainable for smaller shops.” (Friedlander, 2013)

If apps with a strong curriculum focus continue to rise (as I am sure they will do as tablet technologies get even more popular), it will become a more difficult job for TLs to assess the appropriateness of each app, and decide which ones should be purchased for use within the school. There are already so many apps that fill the same need, whether it be multiplication games, word creation apps or apps that teach a concept, etc. As more and more are produced, the job of the teacher librarian will get more complicated. There are already a plethora of websites that TLs have to assess for appropriateness, and apps just add another dimension to this. I wonder if it will become a specific job for someone (or a group of people) to assess apps and/or websites for whole government areas, so there are officially endorsed apps for teachers and schools to use. This would certainly lighten the load for school teacher librarians and allow them more time to teach students information literacy skills and literature appreciation etc.

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