Thursday, May 3, 2007

Great Websites for Kids

Audio from this program is also available at

Bonnie Peirce, Head of Children's Services at the Dover Town Library, presented ideas on integrating web 2.0 technologies to allow youth to create and participate. She charmed up with wonderful examples of user created content, like a George Bush and Tony Blair clips remixed with "Endless Love."

"My Space is now the 11th largest country in the world, and Second Life is the size of Singapore, Bonnie pointed out, to emphasize the enormous impact of digital worlds where content creation and social networking is the main attraction."

Rather than cover traditional resources, Bonnie showed web 2.0 tools for mapping and geotagging, podcasting and virtual worlds. She used some jargon in her talk, but if you are leeling overwhelmed, remember Web 2.0 is experiential, so start playing with tags, blogs and podcasting through Learning 2.0's 23 things. Also, join the Library Youth and Teen Services 2.0 group on Ning to participate in the dialogue of how to move libraries forward. Finally, don't forget about looking outside the library profession to keep up with technology trends.

Laura Bernheim, Head of Reference Services at Waltham Public Library, showed participatory websites for teens:
Television Without Pity (a recap website with articulate fan message boards about each episode and great fanfiction - a great resource for deciphering chat slang)
Teen Ink (a creative writing website with a companion print magazine and book series; Teen Ink accepts photos, art, interviews and reviews too) (web design help, creative writing support, and annual book poll for Teen Read Week)
The Student Center (link dumping ground with sites organized by category, as well as chat and contests)
B.J. Pinchbeck's Homework Center (one of the better homework help sites, with lesson plans and teacher resources as well as links for youth).

Laura also talked briefly about Internet Safety websites. Teachings kids how to protect themselves is the key - not blocking access to site with potential dangers. Suffolk County and the FBI have great websites, but is really excellent.

I bookmarked a few links from Bonnie and Laura's presentation at:

Bonnie's webpage:

YSS blog:

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