Excellence in Digital Media for Kids

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has announced their Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award and also the release of their annual Notable Children's Digital Media list. 

The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is a new award given by ALSC. The purpose of the award is "to recognize the most distinguished digital media created for an early learning audience by a producer based in the United States." Digital media includes any interactive media available through an electronic device and can include websites, DVDs, streaming services, software, enhanced ebooks, and apps. The audience targeted by the digital media is children ages 2-8 years. This age range was decided on based on the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. They recommend that very young children under the age of 18 months have no digital media time (apart from video chatting with friends and family.) 18-24 months is the time to carefully introduce digital media, interactin with your child. It's recommended that parents and caregivers of children ages 2-8 years limit screen time to one hour for the very young and only a few hours for older children. It's also important to make sure that the apps and other media your child is interacting with is high quality and stimulates your child's intellect and creativity. That's where the awards and notable lists come in! The committees that give the awards and create the lists are made up of children's librarians from around the country. The criteria used for selection is based on research on child development. Some of the criteria are:

  • Meets high aesthetic and technical standards.
  • The skills required to navigate the media should be appropriate and suitably challenging for the intended audience.
  • Facilitates active and creative use by children ages 2-8 in exemplary ways.
  • Respects the early learning audience’s intelligence and imagination by offering a  rich and diverse experience.
  • Allows for meaningful joint media engagement, co-viewing, shared play  experiences and/or guided play.

And the Winner is: Play and Learn Science, opens a new window, produced by PBS Kids. The Honor recipients are Coral Reef , opens a new windowand Lexi's World, opens a new window. To learn more about the award visit the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award homepage, opens a new window

For more great apps for kids take a look at the Notable Children's Digital Media list, opens a new window.

The American Academy of Pediatrics have created a great tool for parents and caregivers to set a Family Media Use Plan, opens a new window. Enter your child's name and age and you will be given a list of guidelines for your family to enjoy digital media while not letting it take over your life! I just entered info on my teen and got some great tips.

Kids of all ages can enjoy and even learn with digital media. It's up to us parents and caregivers to make sure that we are exposing our children to the best. These resource can help families do just that.