By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County offered more than books at a program May 25 for children focusing on technology.
“iPad Play,” a program at the Austintown and Main branches for children ages 4 to those in sixth-grade with an adult companion, teaches kids about available apps for the device. They can bring their own iPad or use the library’s.
Adults reserve a time slot for the program, which is currently offered once a month. They identify one or two subject areas their child needs help with. Hayley McEwing, an Austintown librarian, then looks for apps, pieces of software that run on electronic devices, that they can use to learn more about the subjects.
“The library’s mission is to help with education as well as entertainment,” McEwing said. “And this falls nicely into both of those categories, because you’re having fun, but also learning at the same time.”
She helps them learn to navigate the apps, and then is available for trouble-shooting.
“My intent is to get the adult and child working together because we know that working with someone helps learning as opposed to just sitting by yourself with a device,” McEwing said. “So having that social aspect is very important for learning, as well as the motivation part, getting excited about learning. I’m hoping that technology is going to draw them into learning.”
Steve Gaffney of North Jackson needed to learn more about math and science, so his mother signed him up for the program. He received an iPad for Christmas and found the program helpful.
“It seems more fun to go on the iPad instead of getting a piece of paper out and writing,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney learned about four new apps during the iPad Play program. He said he likes using the iPad, and that makes it easier for him to learn.