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Geek Out At Your Library - Teen Tech Week 2012

App, App and Away

Just in time for Teen Tech Week, here are some free apps that rock your mobile device, if not your world.

Skype

This app allows you to make free long distance phone calls from your mobile device -- and video calls from your video-enabled mobile device. Forget for just a moment that when you were in kindergarten this was still science fiction, like flying cars kind of science fiction. This app is now old school, but it’s still amazing. If you're not already skyping with friends or relatives at the holidays, check out epals.com and make a friend in another country.

Pandora Radio

Long before there was Hulu there was this thing called television. And before that, there was this thing called radio. People used to sit around and read, or cook, or do full-contact origami, and listen to baseball games or radio plays, or sometimes music. We've since realized music was made for radio, and vice versa. Gone are the days when you had to wait for dj's to play the song you wanted to hear. Now you can create your own personalized radio stations featuring only the bands and music you like. Oh yeah, and it's free.

Shazam

If you like music, this app could make you the smartest person in your group when it comes to music trivia. And if you know a certain boy or girl has this app, and they still ask you 'Hey, do you know who did this song?' then chances are they just want a chance to talk to you. Sample a 10 sec clip of almost any commercially produced song and have instant access to the artist, title, and links to album, lyrics and more.

Where's my Water?

Of all the games out there that everyone knows, like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, this game doesn't get nearly enough credit for being smart, challenging, and just downright cute. Meet Swampy, a city crocodile with style, and help him fix his plumbing so he can take a bath in time to meet his lady friend in this challenging puzzle that will have you understanding the awesomeness of -- if not actually saying -- the enigmatic phrase “I tri-ducked that.”

Photofunia

Any smart phone's native camera functions are made instantly cooler with these special effects that make you look like a superstar, everything from quality sketch and watercolor effects that you can print and frame for friends and family to fun effects (such as put your photo on a times square billboard) for spiffing up avatars and other shots.

OverDrive

Get eBooks and eAudiobooks on your mobile device with just your JCPL Library Card. For information on how to set up your device, check out the library's OverDrive page and follow the Help links in the menu. Want to recommend a book for us to purchase for OverDrive? Visit our Suggest an Item page and be sure to mention you want it as an eBook or eAudio.

itunesU

Ok, so maybe it’s not as much fun as games, but today you have access to a literal world of knowledge -- podcasts, ebooks and classroom resources -- that kids and teens in generations before had to seek out in creepily quiet, dusty old rooms that smelled of floor cleaner and mice. Now, you can access literature, science or history, or learn a new language, from anywhere, at any time. That’s pretty much the definition of tech that rocks your world.


In Your Own Words

Have an app or game you like? Drop us a line and give us a review!


About Teen Tech Week

Teens’ use of technology increased dramatically in recent years, yet more teens are doing this from home instead of the library. The Pew Internet & American Life project found that 93 percent of teens go online, with many using social networking sites, finding news and information, sharing content they create, and looking for information on health. Teens need to know that the library is a trusted resource for accessing information and that librarians are the experts who can help them develop the skills they need to use electronic resources effectively and efficiently. Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames.