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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Techie Teens!

Getting teenagers to focus can be challenging. They have so much to learn and so much potential, but they are convinced that they already know everything. Even though those times are long gone at my house, I still remember the day to day reminders, the suggestions on how to stay focused, and the constant griping (from my teen, not me!)

Jason and Tiffany from the Rebecca Baine Rigby Library in Madison stopped by the Mississippi Library Commission recently and talked about their upcoming Teen Tech Expo. I knew I had to be there! I love techie things and wish I were more inclined that way.

On the afternoon of the big event, I headed north toward Madison not really knowing what to expect. When I arrived the kids were already immersed in all things techie. Jason, the Madison County Library System's Programming Coordinator, said he was always looking for ways to increase teens' literacy skills while still making programs fun and engaging to the children through the use of technology. The kids worked on creating short "superhero" film clips of each other on iPads, which encouraged them to work together as teams. It was a lot of fun watching them brainstorming and laughing together.

After much hilarity as they watched one another transform into superheros, the group moved on to a new project. With the help of a Makey-Makey kit, an electronic invention tool and toy that allows users to connect everyday objects to computer programs, the kids were able to use aluminum foil to create a board game. It was way over my head, but they loved it!

With a little ingenuity and research, libraries can transform their space into a creative lab for teens to learn, laugh, grow, and work together. What could be better? Way to go all of you at Rebecca Baine Rigby Library for a job well done and for helping me remember what it's like to be around teenagers. I didn't realize how much I missed it!

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