Thursday night was our annual Taste of Barrow meet the teacher night. This is an exciting night for students where they hurry into the building to find their name posted by teacher and grade level and meet the teacher that will guide them through their new grade level over this school year. In the media center, our lunchroom, bus, and afterschool staff setup at the tables to answer questions and sign up students for various programs, and I typically end up assisting in directing parents to the various tables. However, I wanted this year to be different. I wanted to be able to offer a “taste” of what’s new in the Barrow Media Center for the 2011-12 school year, so I setup a table of Nook Colors for students and parents to try out.
It did not take long for students to notice the new technology on the table and to start to ask questions. Once the first students started trying them out, more students began to congregate around the table. With a few simple instructions, students were listening to picture books using the “read to me” feature. Then, those students were explaining the Nook Color to new students who walked up to the table. It was an amazing collaborative process. Students went and got their parents and began to explain to them how to use the devices, and parents started showing other students who were new to the table how to use the devices as well. In just a few minutes, we were a community of collaborators around a table sharing the love of reading and new technology, and I was energized and hopeful for what this year has to offer in our media center.
The six Nook Colors purchased by our PTA are only a part of the new technology that will be a part of our media center this year. Thanks to the Georgia Library Media Association Mable Wyche Underwood Grant, we will also purchase 3-4 Nook Simple Touch e-readers. We will also pilot 10 iPads for the school district and explore how these devices support elementary learners in reading e-books, but also in using Apple apps for multiple kinds of learning and product creation. Our district also purchased 4 iPod Touch for both teachers and students to use. All of these devices will work together to support students of various abilities. Each device has its own benefits to provide new kinds of learning and access to our students at Barrow. I can’t wait to see how these devices increase our access to the global community.