So often I hear from parents that they worry technology is not what their child needs or that is shouldn’t be in the classroom setting. When parents and guardians are introduced with the idea of technology in the classroom, it does not seem that they are afraid of the technology rather that they just don’t understand how it will be used (Barseghian, 2011). When it comes to technology and reading many believe that the two do not belong together. I am here to say otherwise!
Books are often given a negative stigma due to the notion that they are for learning and only learning. The issue with that is, children don’t look for books based solely on the subject of the book. They look for books that appeal to them and that have things such as: “pop-up [pages] or…crinkling pages or…a finger puppet…” (Leith, 2011). Considering that children love books that they can interact with shows that the conventional children’s books will not go away. But that is not to say that they can not be improved on or accompanied with technology. In several different classrooms, audio books can be found. These audio books allow students to use their critical listening skills to hear the distinct and unique voices of each character within their book and make connections to what that has to say about the personality or definition of each character (Johnson, 2003). Here is a link that has a full list about the benefits of audio books, it is also listed at the bottom of the page.
But audio books aren’t the only benefit technology has for children’s books. Technology can be used to induce discussion on a variety of books with a large amount of people, whether across the state, across the nation, or across the world (Leith, 2011). With texting and social interaction through technology becoming demanded by professionals, what better way to help children develop their critical thinking skills than using the safe, school regulated chat rooms to help children discuss their ideas and learning with others. Not only that but this form of communication would ensure a diverse range of students having access to such a wide range of information and discussion.
At this point in our society, technology has no limits – which can seem extremely scary to the majority of parents and educators. By teaching children and students that technology is here to help and not be a lifeline, they will be able to develop the technological skills that are asked of them. Not only that but they will be able to read a book and have incredibly meaningful conversations with a diverse range of peers. Technology is here to stay, the best we can do is to learn the benefits of it and use it to improve.
If you would like to additional reading relating to the topics of this post, click on the anyone of the links below to take you to other articles:
Barseghian, T. (n.d.). Addressing Parent Fears About the Changing Classroom. Retrieved May 06, 2017, from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/08/26/addressing-the-parent-fear-factor-about-the-changing-classroom/
Leith, S. (2011, October 22). Don’t fear the Reader: how technology can benefit children’s books. Retrieved May 06, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/oct/23/childrens-books-technology
Reading Rockets. (2017, April 26). Retrieved May 06, 2017, from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/benefits-audiobooks-all-readers
Technology and Young Children. (n.d.). Retrieved May 06, 2017, from https://www.naeyc.org/content/technology-and-young-children/school-age-children
Top 10 Concerns about Children and Technology – from Parents and Teachers. (2016, November 10). Retrieved May 06, 2017, from https://www.raisingdigitalnatives.com/top-10-concerns-about-children-and-technology/