Like many parents, I experience pangs of guilt when I can’t tear my kids away from screens. Sometimes I ease that guilt by telling myself they might be learning something while watching inane Minecraft videos on the laptop or playing Angry Birds on my phone for the umpteenth time. But now that the library has Launchpads, parents can be confident that tablet time is indeed educational.
Launchpads are durable, kid-friendly tablets, pre-loaded with educational apps. They’re available at every library location and you can borrow them (that’s right, you can take these home!) for two weeks at a time. The apps on each tablet are themed to different age levels and interests, and you can place holds on specific themes like “Wild for Words” or “Dragons, Monsters and Dinosaurs.”
Eager to try out the library’s fancy new tablets on my own test subjects, my two boys, I checked out the “Monkey See, Monkey Do!” Launchpad, recommended for ages 3-5.
Launchpads come encased in durable rubber casing, which helps them to stand up to children’s enthusiastic “playing”. Each tablet is bundled with a charger and instructions in a handy carrying case. The tablet’s battery life seems to last a solid two hours before needing a charge.
Both boys loved being able to create their own avatars and then use those avatars to log in over the course of our checkout period.
I appreciated the parent analysis screen, which tracked what games they enjoyed and excelled at.
As thrilled as I am for my boys to try out all the different themes and apps, I’m even more excited for what this means for Nashville’s children who don't have access to technology at home. No peripheral software or other computers are needed—the Launchpad is self-contained and ready to use by anyone with a Nashville Public Library card.
Launchpads were purchased thanks to a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.