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HomeBlogNew and NotableNew tablet and online education services available at Anne Arundel libraries

New tablet and online education services available at Anne Arundel libraries

launchpad hero.webAnne Arundel County libraries have a lot of new technology options for families to check out including children’s educational tablets and access to lynda.com, an online education service with courses and tutorials.

As part of a special pilot program, the library is allowing customers to check out special Android tablets for children featuring high quality, pre-loaded learning apps. The tablets are called Playaway Launchpads, and they compliment the system’s early literacy programs designed to help prepare children for success in reading and school.

There are 105 devices housed between the Brooklyn Park, Easport-Annapolis Neck and Maryland City at Russett Community libraries. Customers can place holds on the Launchpads and pick them up at any branch. The devices can be checked out for seven days and renewed up to five times if there are no holds.

“We believe the Launchpads will help even the playing field for parents who can’t afford devices and will appeal to all families who are reluctant to allow children to use devices with wireless access,” said Hampton “Skip” Auld, library CEO. “It is also a great way for parents to try out educational apps without any expense.”

The devices will feature advertisement-free apps designed for children ages 3-7 years old and are grouped by age and grade level. Featuring a 7-inch high-definition touchscreen, external speaker, universal audio jack and a protective bumper, the tablet is free of Wi-Fi and camera capabilities for a controlled user experience.

The library hopes to purchase additional Launchpads to be housed at each branch in the next six months. The Anne Arundel County Public Library is among the first in the state to offer these tablets to customers.

Lynda.com for free with library card

Library patrons who want to brush up on technology skills and learn how to use photography programs, social media websites or computer applications can now check out lynda.com, an online education service with over 3,000 courses and 130,000 tutorials, at no cost.

AACPL cardholders can access lynda.com for free from home or at the nearest county library. Topics include technological, creative and business skills designed to help achieve personal and professional goals. It’s a great resume builder for adults, and a useful service for teens who want to expand their computer skills and prepare for a rapidly evolving job market.

There are more than 3,000 courses are available, including:

  • Software: MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.
  • Web Design: web graphics, interactive design, prototyping, etc.
  • Social Media and Web Publishing: Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, etc.
  • Photography: Lighting and Photographing a Still Life, Photography 101: Shooting in Low Light, etc.
  • Business and Career Skills: productivity, marketing, time management, etc.
  • Job Search Tools: resume design, searching for positions, working with recruiters, etc.

To get started on lynda.com, AACPL patrons should follow these steps:

  • Visit aacpl.net/lynda and click the hyperlink that reads “Create your lynda.com Profile”
  • Click on the “Create profile” button and follow the instructions to create a profile
  • Browse courses and save what you like to your own playlist
  • Save and view progress in your lynda.com profile
  • Get a certificate upon completion of a course

For details on either new option visit the Anne Arundel County Public Library website.

By Anna Tayman and Betsy Stein

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