Monday, January 31, 2011

Houston Public Library Launches iPad Pilot Program for Children

You're never too young to give an iPad a try.  Houston library will test program allowing kids from 2 to 6 to use the devices.   (Houston Chronicle, 1/28/2011)

Excerpt: Even kids in diapers will be able to indulge their taste in interactive edutainment when the Houston Public Library launches a pilot program Saturday that puts iPads in the hands of 2- to 6-year-olds. If successful, the effort will expand to selected neighborhood libraries in the fall.

"An iPad is interactive. You touch it, you turn it and it does things. Kids understand this very well," said Sandy Farmer, youth services manager at Central Library, where the program will debut. "There are tons of apps out there for young children — alphabet, colors, maps - some of them are really cool. ... It's an opportunity for kids to sit down and learn in a unique way."

The program, which will begin with three iPads, is an extension of the library's early literacy stations, desktop computers loaded with child-appropriate programming available at all library branches.

Library services coordinator Heidi Daniel said those computers proved popular with children and their parents, but some branch libraries had only a few units. Long lines developed, and, added library spokesman Greg Simpson, children sometimes had difficulty manipulating a computer's mouse.
The iPads will provide mobility and, employing touch technology, ease of operation

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