READY TO LAUNCH! Educational Tablets Now Available at E.C. Public Library
Launchpads are a new resource available to rent, and they’re already wildly popular
A lot of younger kids are familiar with hand-held electronics like iPhones, Nintendo Switch consoles, Kindles, and more, and plenty of schools also utilize an array of tablets for learning. Now, folks can check out Launchpad Tablets from the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, and they’re entirely education-focused!
Unlike iPads or other tablets used at home, Launchpads do not have internet access and are instead pre-loaded with other kinds of content, like game-style activities that introduce or help hone skills in learning basic shapes and colors, math and counting, observation, and more. Each Launchpad has a theme correlating with such topics and skills.
“Each Launchpad is curated with pre-loaded apps, storybooks and videos directly related to that tablet’s theme,” Kelly Witt, youth services manager at the library, explained. “Learning apps have a powerful impact on development and education …”
For example, one of the Launchpad tablet’s themes is “Pre-K Academy: Math & Science”, which is intended for preschool-age children and helps kids develop skills needed to enter their first year of school, related to math and science. That tablet pre-loaded with content like Barnyard Games for Kids; Car Patrol Hide & Seek: Preschool Animals Safari; Math Tales – The Farm; Shape Game Colors; Count the Bubbles with Marvin!; The Silliest Counting Show, and more.
While Launchpads don’t offer internet access – making them 100% secure in that regard – and don’t require internet connection to function, Witt pointed out the gap between those who have internet access at home and those who do not.
"20% of children in America lack internet access at home! Furthermore, many families rely on libraries for internet access and technology. We added Launchpad tablets to our collection to combat inequality and to help bridge the digital divide."
YOUTH SERVICES MANAGER
“20% of children in America lack internet access at home! Furthermore, many families rely on libraries for internet access and technology,” she said. “We added Launchpad tablets to our collection to combat inequality and to help bridge the digital divide.”
When fully charged, Launchpads offer about 4.5 hours of continuous play, and each tablet comes with a charger when rented. They can still be used while charging, too.
The Launchpads have been wildly popular since arriving at the library at the beginning of April and can be checked out up to 14 days at a time, folks allowed to check out more than one if they’d like. Most of them are currently checked out, though Witt suggested placing a hold on a particular tablet if interested.
Although the library is generally fine free, the Launchpads do hold a late fee of $1 a day once that 14-day window is up.
“We do feel really grateful to be able to provide children and families safe access to technology,” Witt said.
Check out the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library's website to learn more about and check the availability of Launchpad tablets.