March 26, 2014
The Southern Prairie Library System is happy to announce the addition of two new computers with many educational programs for kids. AWE (Advanced Workstations in Education) Digital Learning Solutions is the latest in technology for younger children without connecting to the Internet. The two learning stations: Early Literacy Station is for children ages 2-8 and AfterSchool Edge for older children, 6-12 years old are available at the Altus Public Library and the Hollis Public Library. The opportunity to obtain these computers for the children was provided by the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation-Betsy Priddy Donor Advised Fund. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Southern Prairie Library System are honored to partner with WFACF.
Similar to the ELS, the AfterSchool Edge is designed for older children, 6-12 years old. It features more than 50 top-rated educational software titles that cover all areas of curriculum, including math, science, reading, financial literacy, music, and art. It is a great homework help assistant.
AWE began in the late 1990s as a remote network company (AWE stood for Alternative Work Environments at this time) helping businesses set up remote work environments. One of its clients was the Free Library of Philadelphia. While working with AWE, the library expressed frustration in managing education software for its youngest patrons. AWE worked with the library to understand the needs of their patrons. What emerged was a child-centered, engaging solution that delivered age-appropriate educational content for early learners. This was the inspiration for AWE’s flagship product, the Early Literacy Station. The experience underscored the AWE life experience that good things happen when we listen to our customers’ needs. AWE changed its name to reflect its new focus and thus began the transition to the digital learning solutions company simply known as AWE that it is today.
Educators and librarians have long understood that young children achieve high degrees of mastery when they can follow their own interests (self-directed, self-paced learning), when they are driven by their internal experience of accomplishment (intrinsic motivation), and when the level of challenge is just right. AWE’s goal is to create technology products that reach all children. AWE believes in the power of learning and strives to inspire every child to become a lifelong learner.
In just over a month the Altus Public Library has logged over 900 hours of use on the AWE computers. According to Donna Smith, branch head librarian, “when we first set up the computers we did not think we would need to keep track of the kids. But, in just in one short month we have found the kids love the computers and we now have a waiting list for them wanting to get on.” Smith went on to say, “kids love the idea of using the computers and programs without any help from parents or staff, and I love the idea the kids are learning while having fun.”
For more information about AWE contact the Altus Public Library at 580-477-2890, the Hollis Library at 580-688-2744 or stop by either library during regular library hours and the staff will be more than happy to give you a tour of AWE.