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Sensory Storytime on a Shoestring

Picture Books you may not have missed because they are on every list

YALS's List of Underdog books

You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dychman and illustrated by Liz Climo

In this classic “be careful what you wish for” story, a young boy is urged by the narrator to not wish for a unicorn. They shed glitter and poop cupcakes, and that is just a lot of work to keep up with. The sass and banter really make this book: grownups will appreciate the subtle humor, and kids will be rolling on the floor in laughter watching the catastrophe that is owning a pet unicorn unfold. Unicorns are very 2017, and this book feeds perfectly into this cultural phenomenon with humor and wit.

Goodreads Picture book

We're all wonders / written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio.

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, soon to be a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Society of Illustrators: The Original Art Exhibit

On a magical do-nothing day / Beatrice Alemagna ; translation by Jill Davis.

All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game. My mom says it’s a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun! On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong about that…

Wander the Lost City of Teotihuacán in Minecraft

The de Young Museum in San Francisco recently opened a show about the city titled Teotihuacán: City of Water, City of Fire. Objects form recent excavations are leveraged as a starting point to examine how the modern conception of the city is formed by surviving artworks. To build some buzz and expose more people to the show’s themes, the museum concurrently released a scale Minecraft map of the city. The map allows anyone with an internet connection (and $27 for a Minecraft account) to dive in and run around amid and within the unblemished splendor of the temples.

YALSA Teen Book Finder


This database provides access to all of YALSA's annual selected book and media lists, awards, and honorees. These resources are developed by library staff and educators to support the collection development and readers' advisory work of library staff.

These books and media have been selected for teens from 12 to 18 years of age, and span a broad range of reading and maturity levels. We encourage adults to take an active role in helping individual teens choose those books that are the best fit for them and their families.

Literature Review

Children are in the midst of a vast, unplanned experiment, surrounded by digital technologies that were not available but 5 years ago. Thus, "educational" apps--the number of which , as of January 2015, stood at 80,000 in the Apple's App Store--are largely unregulated and untested.

Putting Education in "Educational" Apps: Lessons From the Science of Learning

  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, James H. Gray, Michael B. Robb, Jordy Kaufman
  • Psychological Science in the Public Interest
  • Vol 16, Issue 1, pp. 3 - 34
  • First Published April 20, 2015

This article's focus is on "educational" apps that have been developed for touch-screen device.

According to Statista in March of 2017 Google had ~2.8 million apps and Apple had ~2.2 million apps

The article breaks the history of apps into two waves:

  1. The first wave consists of the majority of app in the marketplace today. These consist of reproductions of content into e-content with out any explicit consideration of how children learn or how electronic media can be harnessed.
  2. The second wave is, "Just beginning." It is the union of researcher and developers working together to design apps that could be fun for all users and, "provide augmented experiences to low-socioeconomic-status children, helping to reduce the long-standing achievement gap.

The Four Pillars: Where Science of Learning Meets App Development and Design:

  1. Active learning
  2. Engagement in the learning process
  3. Meaningful learning
  4. Social interaction
Research in the Science of Learning suggests that they are more likely to result in significant learning if they are embedded in an educational context that supports scaffolded exploration, questioning, and discovery in relation to well-defined learning goals.

The app that the article ends up reviewing and sees as meeting the pedagogical scaffolding structure is Alien Assignment.


Apps offer a digital doorway between the physical world in which children and families live and the rapidly growing digital cloud. The second wave of educational apps should be designed and used with this broad potential in mind, rather than simply mimicking and extending older media like books, worksheets, television, or even video games. The design of educational apps should creatively combine principles from the Science of Learning with the affordances of this versatile medium.

In the end the paper concludes that we are still in the first wave of app development

Hexapod Robot

Always wanted a 3-d printer but just aren't sure they are worth the investment. Do you like pancakes. Problem solved.

Save the Date

April 26th 2018

The G.O.A.T.S Meetup--The Greatest of All-Time Teen Services Meetup

More information coming soon. But trust me it will be awesome.


Created with images by kennymatic - "Stay active"

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