App of the Week: Cambox

Title: Cambox
Cost: .99
Platform: iOS


The cam is for video, the box is for beat.’ With Cambox you can create, record, and share video beatbox creations.’ Capture a sound in each of eight boxes to create your “kit”. Once you have sounds you can play them like drums. Tap them in any order to create a steady rhythm or something else entirely.

A friend showed me this, and I immediately thought of how much fun it could be with a group of teens. Unfortunately, the writing of this post didn’t coincide with me seeing any teens, so I had to make do with the things in my kitchen. Continue reading

App of the Week: Animation Creator

Name: Animation Creator’ 

Platform: iOS 3.0 and later iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Cost: $ .99

Animation Creator is perfect for teens who like to draw and are into graphic design. I know teens at my Library who read Manga and watch anime; most every library has these teen patrons. From time to time they can be found sketching out drawings on the sides of binders and notebooks rendering their favorite characters in some crazy action pose. This app is also equally appealing to anyone who enjoys illustrating their own comics or zines. Continue reading

YALSA Podcast Episode #95: Think Big About Advocacy

For this episode of the YALSA podcast we talk to Michelle Gorman and Kelly Czarnecki of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library system, whose Teen Video Advocacy Project won YALSA’s Think Big About Advocacy Contest.

Think Big About Advocacy

If’  you prefer, you may go to the YALSA Podcast site, download the Mp3 file and listen to it on the Mp3 player of your choice. To avoid missing future episodes, add the feed to Itunes or any other rss feed tracker.

To see the videos and read more about YALSA’s Think Big About Advocacy contest, go the contest page on YALSA’s website.

App of the Week: Splice

Title: Splice
Platform: iPhone running iOS 4
Cost: Free or $1.99 Pro Version

Splice main screenWhen I first bought my iPhone, one of the things I was really looking forward to using was the iMovie app. But, once I got my iPhone I didn’t really use that app that much. It didn’t do what I hoped it would. But now, there’s Splice, an iPhone app that makes it possible to edit and enhance movies, and slideshows, on an iPhone. While the editing and enhancing isn’t always a snap with Splice, it is pretty easy. And, the features included with the software are pretty varied.

The first step in using Splice is to have video and/or photos on your phone that you want to edit together in some way. Or, even if you just have one movie on the phone, you can edit it with Splice, add music, sound effects, narration, titles, transitions, and more. But, let me get back to those first steps. Continue reading

28 Days of Teens & Tech #15: Keep It in the Cloud

Google’s Cr-48 Chrome Notebook pilot program generated a lot of buzz in the tech community when, late last year, laptops started appearing on people’s doorsteps–laptops with solid-state hard drives, no capslock keys, and built-in WiFi and 3G capabilities. The laptops were sent to people who, as Google put it, were “living on the web […] doing everything in the browser, from using web apps to storing all your files online.”

You can take their quiz to find out if you’re living on the web–but teens most definitely are. As adults, I think we get pretty settled into having our own computers at home, our own computers at work, and moving back and forth between them. But teens may be sharing a family computer at home, using computer labs at school, and doing homework and playing games on the computers at the library; they lead much more fluid technological lives with fewer fixed points. We need to be familiar with websites, apps, programs, and services that allow the user identical access from multiple devices–with things that keep their data in the cloud.

Continue reading

2010 Technology Recap

As the recent post on the YALSA Blog, A Time to Reflect, noted, the end of the year is always a time to think about the past twelve months. As I tend to have technology as a focus in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about what has happened in the technology realm in 2010. I’ve also been thinking about what I’ve seen in libraries as it relates to technology and teens. Here are some things bubbling in my head:

  • Video: Streaming video really took off this year with stories almost daily about new and improved services. NetFlix launched a streaming only subscription plan and made its instant queue available for viewing on mobile devices. Hulu Plus launched as a way for users of that service to access content on mobile devices. And, gaming consoles began to be used more and more as entertainment systems.

    Something else I’ve noticed this year is that more librarians are using video contests as a way to connect with teens. This is great as many teens are interested in producing and creating video content. However, I have one caveat for my peers. Video is not the end-all and be-all to connecting with teens. I do worry that some librarians are looking at video contests as the silver bullet for meeting teen technology needs and for integrating technology into programs and services. Please don’t. I actually think YALSA’s Why I’m a Member contest is a perfect example of how video can be used with a target audience as one way to connect. It’s not the only way, it’s one way. Continue reading

Viewing: How It’s Done & What Do We Do

Yesterday The New York Times published a series of articles under the umbrella title, Sofa Wars. The focus of the series is on how people watch TV and what might be happening in the viewing/TV industry as more and more viewers move away from cable to other types of services.

Today I read through some comments on a New York Times blog post on the topic of cable vs. other forms of access – Hulu, Apple TV, NetFlix, and so on. I started to think, what does this change in TV access mean to teens? Continue reading