For many years people have been lamenting the advance of technology. Particularly, technology that is used by children is regularly under fire, and now, it seems like critics might have a point.
Studies have recently shown that e-Books have a negative effect on children who are learning to read, particularly younger kids.
That’s because the use of the technology, and extra bells and whistles such as games, distract them from reading itself. So, children who use this tech get bored by the reading part and want to get stuck straight into playing the games and enjoying the delights of cartoons or whatever else it is they usually do with their tablet.
Personally, I think that technology has its pros and its cons. As the article itself states, in some cases virtual books can help with learning. Therefore, I don’t believe that tech is always a bad guy when children are trying to learn to read.
For example, if virtual books have built-in dictionaries, then they can help children with their comprehension. Someone recently mentioned that this function was one of the main reasons they missed their Kindle, after giving it up to return to the allure of traditional paper books.
With a built-in dictionary, you can swipe your finger over a word and easily learn its meaning. Using this tech is particularly useful for those reading work from a bygone era. When I was at university, I read some medieval text, which I had to read alongside a primer, a separate book. Using the primer made the text understandable, but it was also an incredibly tedious and laborious task. If I’d have had access to an eBook with an inbuilt dictionary, I would’ve found the task much easier and, probably, much more enjoyable.
So, I don’t think that we can completely ditch it when we’re trying to educate children, especially in today’s technology-driven world. Tech is a key part of the world of work, so kids need to be taught to use it and interact with it from an early age.
For those who lament the onslaught of technology, remember that without progress we’d all still be beating our clothes on rocks and living in caves. We have to progress to get better, so we need to incorporate tech into every aspect of our lives and use it to enrich them.
In this day and age, where we are stuck at home and many kids have been remote learning for months, technology is bridging the schooling gap and helping children to learn in a safe space.
Embracing technology in reading, and particularly learning to read, means using a variety of different solutions. While eBooks with games on the end of them might inhibit children’s learning, but other literacy tech solutions, can benefit children and make learning to read both easier and more fun.
One example of this phenomenon is audiobooks. Although there’s a lot of snobbery around them, audiobooks can really help children to learn to read and make them more enthusiastic about stories. In this case, this solution could be ideal for kids, particularly those with learning issues such as dyslexia, who find reading challenging. With audiobooks, particularly if they’re used alongside actual books, kids can learn to read and enjoy books, giving them good habits for the rest of their lives.
Another example of using technology to improve children’s literacy is the recent push to encourage children to watch TV with subtitles, even when it’s in their first language. Personally, I think that this is a good idea, as it will do something very important; it will make children enjoy reading and make it fun, not a chore.
Many adults I speak to who don’t like reading as a hobby say that they got sick of it after school, college or university. After being made to read a lot of texts that they didn’t particularly enjoy, they’re now happy to avoid reading and spend their time watching TV, something we’re not very often made to do analytically.
Even if students are made to watch TV shows or films they don’t particularly like, it often feels less like a chore because it’s communal, whereas outside reading is often done in their own time. All of this can make people find reading boring and make it feel like work.
As a result, they find reading a boring chore, and they don’t do it as a hobby. If they feel like that as a kid, then they’ll give it up as soon as they become old enough. That’s a real shame; I personally know a lot of adults who don’t enjoy reading, and that sucks, when you consider the many benefits of reading for your mental wellbeing and vocabulary. In times of stress reading can be incredibly soothing and it can also help readers to broaden their minds.
During the pandemic, reading has become more popular than ever, with book sales booming. It’s a great way to escape from everyday life and go to other worlds in your imagination without leaving the comfort of your home. So, children who don’t enjoy reading and keep it on as a hobby in adulthood
Fundamentally, reading is an essential skill that everyone needs to learn. However, while schools teach kids to read, they don’t teach them to enjoy reading as a hobby. Reading recreationally has loads of benefits, including broadening your horizons and expanding your vocabulary. So, anything that helps children to enjoy stories and reading gets a thumbs up from me.