Every year libraries across the US celebrate a little thing we like to call Teen Tech Week. According to the official website, "Teen Tech Week is when libraries make the time to showcase all of the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers." It's a great week to show teens that libraries are about so much more than just books.
In honor of this week, I wanted to share a few ideas for Teen Tech Week (or just any person looking to engage teens in tech-y, hands on, "cool" learning experiences) that I've found while I was gathering ideas for what to do for our week. I'll also share some of the fun displays we have put together, and I might even have a freebie printable at the end!
Love this awesome Post-It art from the blog LibrErin.
This idea for a charging station from the blog The True Adventures of a High School Librarian is brilliant!
This pin from Lisle Library District inspired me to host our own "old tech" guessing game. I even dusted off the very machine they used for their game! Do you know what it is? (Hint... it's not a trash compactor.)
While we are on the subject of old tech, this "Retro Tech" display is too cute.
I'm into this tutorial for making jewelry out of old computer parts. Recycling AND crafting? Perfect!
This simple but practical Wool Felt Cell Phone Sleeves tutorial from Poppytalk could easily be hand sewn. It's a cute and affordable craft with some life skills built in!
This projector made with a smart phone from Scientifical Hampster is awesome! It would be so handy in a dorm room.
If your readers aren't quite sure what they should dig into next, they could start with "Which YA book should you read based on your favorite emoji?" from Buzzfeed. Or they could take a look at the HPLDreads tumblr, which is chalk full of book lists.
Speaking of emojis, I'm so into these #emojireads from Epic Reads. I printed a few out and plan to give them to the teens to see if the can figure out what book the emojis are trying to describe. Only one person on staff figured them all out!
For my own display I set out non-fiction books that focused on careers that had to do with technology. When I was in school I didn't even realized jobs in the art field like that existed, so I'm always trying to spread the word. I also included some great tech based YA fiction.
I had been throwing Post-It's at our teens all last week, so I was able to build up enough for a decent "art show." I plan on adding more as Teen Tech Week progressed. How cool would it be to cover a whole wall in little works of art? And (inspired by that pin I linked earlier) I created a little "retro tech" museum with a guessing game. I'm both intrigued and scared to find out what they think that floppy disk does. "Oh! You printed a 3-D version of the save icon!"
We've done "blind date with a book" displays before, but I wanted to upgrade it to fit the theme. With a few printed labels and some pictures of the main characters I was able to create a fake "tinder" profile for the books. The display hasn't been out for long, so I'm interested to see what the reaction will be!
And last but not least, I have an easy passive activity that pretty much any library can do. Inspired by this Instructables, I made a cute little coloring sheet of pixelated bows or bow ties for the teens to color, cut out, and wear.
I've uploaded the .pdf to my drive, so you can grab it and print it out yourself. Cut them into strips and put them next to some crayons and you've got yourself an easy and adorable (or manly!) activity!