29 Mar, 2014 @ 13:30
1 min read

iPads and Kindles crucial in encouraging youngsters to read

LEADING charity The National Literacy Trust has found that smartphones, iPads and Kindles have a ‘new and important’ role to play in encouraging children as young as three to get into reading.

The charity found that almost 75% of children under five have access to touchscreen technology at home, and insisted that it represented a valuable resource.

Jonathan Douglas, the trust’s director, said: “Technology is playing an increasingly crucial role in all our lives and the ways in which children are learning are changing fast.

When parents read with their children, whatever the medium, they increase their child’s enjoyment of reading which brings life-long benefits.”

But nursery leaders have criticised the recommendation, warning that increased exposure to technology at a young age can damage a child’s development.

Attention spans and concentration levels are already lower than ever before, they claim, due to a rise in screen-based entertainment.

The study – which surveyed more than 1,000 parents with children aged three to five – found that 77% of children enjoyed reading if they had access to both books and technology, compared to just 71% who only read books in print.

Tom Powell

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  1. w h a t a l o a d o f t o s h !!!

    I am a self-confessed tech geek, but I l never needed a Kindle to learn and enjoy to read!!

    I have every type of high tech gadget at home – in addition to 3 little kids, and none of them accesses ANY of my gear.

    They speak three languages, are learning to read and write – with great pleasure and a sense elf achievement. They rarely watch TV and only use the computer when Skype-ing me as I work abroad a heck of a lot.

    This is utter crap, but it is also, very sadly, the prevailing mindset, and is becoming increasingly difficult to fight against.

  2. Don’t see what’s wrong with the article. It merely states that these devices ENCOURAGE children to want to learn to read. Not that they are being used as a teaching medium.
    After all, until a kid can read and write, they are unable to use these amazing toys that all the other kids have.
    Maybe when your nippers finish learning these skills, you may find YOUR gear gets used.

  3. Once my kids have learned to read and write, they’ll be free to use my gear, but i’ll be damned if I will use the gear to teach them in the first place

    And also……

    There’s nothing nicer than sitting with your kids and reading them a book. A REAL paper book!!


    I don’t think so

    And Stefanjo – sorry, but the fact that you don’t see anything wrong with it just shows where society is headed

  4. Bing Dong: Read it again mate. It only says these devices ENCOURAGE kids to WANT to learn to read. Not that they are used as a teaching aid.
    However, what’s wrong with using a Kindle or other electronic book to sit and read with and to the kids? You sound like one of those disappointed monks who found their hand-written illuminated manuscripts were no longer needed, with the advent of mechanical printing.

  5. Stefanjo

    Great response!!

    Although amongst all the things I have been called over the years, I have never been called a disappointed monk before.

    I am just religiously against the increasing “need” that the yoof of today have on technology. the result is tat they can’t us ether brains for calculating, they can’t use their hands for writing, and they do’t know how to spell.

    As I originally said, I am somewhat of a geek myself, but I am also VERY insistent that today’s kids are taught the basics in the way that I was, as frankly what I find is an increasingly dysfunctional community of young folks who just don’t know how to function in a society where they need to communicate with other human beings in a proper fashion.

    As we speak I am employing about 20 youngsters of between 20 and 25 years old, and their communication skills are appalling, as is their total inability to use their own brains (unassisted by technology) across a range of matters.

    It does not bode well for the future.

    So I take your monkish comments well, but they’re not actually appropriate to this discussion – amusing as they might be.

  6. Bing Dong,

    Well said. But I have found that given a mobile phone and plug in head phones they certainly don’t live on this planet, and if you ask them a simple question they invariably reply “Do what mate, didn’t understand the question”

  7. Bing Dong,
    great posts and could’nt agree more. You only have to look at some of the deplorable English on this forum to see what has happened over the last 30 years or so.

    Why all this push to make everything electronic – could be because then the elites can switch off the modern life anytime they like, anyone thought of that?

    What happens then – no ability to do even simple arithmatic without a calculator. I well remember visiting my branch of Nationwide one day over 20 years ago and was appalled when the teller, a young woman had to use a calculator to subtract £5 from a sum of £58.

    My partner was a lecturer in paediatric nursing and she could not believe the abysmal English skills of ex university students and she retired 20 years ago.

    It’s strange that the Spanish kids are taught Spanish in far more depth than English is taught at home. Indeed I am shocked and disappointed by the inability of so many Brits that can hardly articulate in a meaningful way compared to the Spanish and French.

    None of this is surprising as many homes in the UK do not have a single book and children need role models to emulate.

    A badly educated people will not prosper in the commercial world of today.

  8. What I find strange, talking about reading books, is that as my better half is French, we tend to buy a lot of kids books over there as they just seem so much better than the English ones.

    But the REALLY weird thing is how many of the “French” books are in fact translated from English in the first place.

    And yet one doesn’t find them in the bookshops in Blighty.

    Anyway, irrespective of the thoughts here, my three little’uns are all trilingual and long may that continue.

    God forbid we ever had to move to England, that would be the end of their linguistic skills.

  9. Bing Dong,
    don’t bite, he’s a waste of time – glad your children have 3 languages, it will be easy now for them to add other languages – shame esperanto was never encouraged across Europe.

  10. Bing Dong: Sorry about the monk thing, couldn’t resist it.
    I’m an old codger who cut his teeth on reading, with three or four visits a week to the library as a kid. (no telly, poor.)
    I’d have given my eye teeth for a device that held more books than my local library. But I take on board the obvious evidence of appalling lack of literary expertise today. Though surely you agree,there are no bad pupils, only bad teachers? So perhaps we should look to our crap education systems, rather than wrecking the looms.
    Stuart: Maybe the levels of ignorance you note on here, are because most intelligent people have left?

  11. In fact, even though I live in Spain, I actually work in the Arabian Gulf – where in most places foreigners can’t buy property, or at least only in specific zones.

    Anyway, coming “home” tonight for my monthly visit, so am looking forward to walking the streets of my beloved Sacromonte, enjoying the clean air, views of the Alhambra and utterly pointless banter and gossip that is so much a part of the life of the Spaniards and Gitanos.


  12. To Olive Press Web Manager:

    Please will you stop the person ‘caccia’ posting these off topic replies about unrelated matters? He’s just starting the same problem as he has done previously on other blog posts, inciting others to become argumentative. Will you please tell him that this behaviour will not be tolerated and will you please moderate your blog properly to avoid these postings?

    I am a teacher, and I was going to post on this subject but now I will not because this person has totally spoiled your blog.


    • Thanks for your message Roxanne. We do encourage free speech and prefer to moderate/delete comments only as a last resort so hopefully Caccia (and one of two others!) will take note of your comments – and if they don’t they will be banned from posting comments.

  13. The world has changed and my step father who is an engineer, was in the Army from the age of 14, very skilful with his hands has a lathe in his garage with other equipment, still works now at 77, used to say all these things that many think here about one of my nephews, stuck on a computer, no good at anything, can’t use his hands, can’t even ride a bike, all the things the oldies say, but he skipped University, straight to work at a Council and is now a Principal Account / Manager at 24 for a London Borough earning good money and I don’t doubt he will one day be running a London Borough on £250k a year. One of my sons is the same, stuck on a Computer but he has also reads many books that are 600 to 1,000 pages, he reads day and night, even on the school run, stays at school for a few extra hours a week, home tutors for 4 hours a week but yes, his communication skills with the outside world are lacking and I am not sure if that his him or the gadgets that have made him like this, my other son, great communicator similar set up and he has made friends with people on Xbox fifty miles away so I have to drop him off there for overnight stays, he is 12. When they describe all of the fanatics / bombers on TV stating they were stuck in the bedrooms playing all of these games with not too many friends I think that is probably half the young population of the UK now. Look at adults in restaurants. When I was young the parents were trying to get you in the house, away from danger, out too late etc and now we can’t get them out.

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