#DigitalParenting: Ignoring Each Other With Books?

Pinterest 'Ah, the good old days, when we ignored each other with books instead of Smartphones'
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A few extracts from the book related to this:

(p181-182) With the growth of tablet devices and e-readers, one of the leading debates is about both the quality and the quantity of reading. The CHILDWISE 2012 Report points to the 30 per cent that read often for pleasure, although 17 per cent never do so, with 14 per cent of boys and 11 per cent of girls favouring e-books over printed books:

At age 7–8, children are becoming confident, established readers, but do not have the entrenched familiarity with traditional books that exists among older children.

With technological developments such as flowable text and full colour, e-readers have become a more appealing prospect, especially for children of eleven plus. Sarah Odedina, Managing Director of Hot Key Books, a publisher of children’s fiction, says:

It is entirely possible that people will be more used to reading from a screen than a page, and I do not think it matters in the least, so long as they are reading.9

Baroness Greenfield, a neuroscientist, agreed with the National Literacy Trust (NLT) that there is “no conclusive evidence that reading standards are deteriorating”, as reading from a screen is just as good as reading from a book. NLT director Jonathan Douglas added that the growth in children’s digital reading was “an opportunity for publishers, not a warning knell”, and said the children’s market was beginning to mirror the way the adult market has developed as the number of children reading digitally increases. He also said there was a “clear relationship between attainment and reading patterns”, with those children with a “balanced diet of print and digital” achieving a higher level of literacy.10

Hanna Rosin challenges the notion that books are inherently better than screens, observing that her daughter tends to use books to avoid social interaction, whilst her son uses the Wii to connect with friends.

(p190) It’s clear that game developers have taken the time to learn about human psychology: what will cause us to “play just one more level” and in the process lose several hours (or even days/ weeks) of our lives, as well as large sums of money (many games are initially free, but you pay for in-game purchases, which can quickly add up). Again, technology magazine The Next Web raises the question of whether “addiction” is the right term:

Why do we stigmatize certain engrossments more than others? When my kid reads books all day, my partner and I are happy about it. When he plays games all day, we are not. Who is to say one is better or worse than the other?11


10 Stories About #DigitalParenting, 02/01/14

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:

Breaking News ScreenSwitch off – it’s time for your digital detox

My name’s Julia and it’s fair to say I’m a digiholic. Virtually every second of my day is spent with my phone at arm’s reach. But I’m far from the worst offender. The average person checks their phone every six and a half minutes – 200 times a day. One in four of us admits to spending longer online each day than we do asleep, while 73 per cent say that we would struggle to go the whole day without our phones or computers.

Stop your children running up bills on an iPad: a how-to guide

“Children and teenagers unwrapping their new phone or their first tablet are excited about the new experiences and knowledge they can open up,” said Patrick Guthrie, director of strategy and communications at PhonepayPlus. “But young people can be unaware of the costs of accessing some digital content on smartphones and tablets, leaving parents to foot the bill.”

Teenagers migrate from Facebook as parents send them friend requests

“Facebook is not just on the slide – it is basically dead and buried,” wrote Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, who is professor of material culture of University College London.

“Mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.”

Are Teens Really Leaving Facebook?

When you compare the other social media platforms, none of them offer the layers of information and capability to create event invitations, groups and lists, among other unique features. While some of the alternate platforms offer a few of these features, Facebook offers diversity and depth the others don’t.


Sometimes, I’ve noticed with horror that the memories I have of things like my daughter’s birthday parties or the trips we’ve taken together are actually memories of the photographs I took, not of the events themselves, and together, the two somehow become ever more worn and overwrought, like lines gone over too many times in a drawing.

Why Our Teenagers Feel Compelled to Connect on Social Media

In one way, it’s simply evolution: Throughout history, adolescents banded together to find safety in numbers as they moved out into the world, a world that was unfamiliar, uncertain and unsafe.

That world remains risky, even with all the advantages that modern gadgets provide us to map out our routes and pinpoint our coordinates. But to leave home and feel safe, we need to belong to other teens on the same journey. As teenagers, we are compelled to turn towards one another.

What I Know One Year After Giving My Teenager an iPhone Contract

12 ways in which lives have been affected….

New Ways for Children to Interact and Learn Through Digital Storytelling: Global Sleepover Launches Its First Story

The Global Sleepover is a new and unique digital children’s story series (children ages 4-8) about four friends who go on Sleepovers all over the world. On their adventures, they learn about the world and become global citizens. After all, who doesn’t love a Sleepover?

Plymouth Library to Offer More Digital Options for Patrons in 2014

“eBooks are very popular, and are becoming very popular with younger children,” Petlewski said. “Especially now that the schools are integrating iPads and other digital devices into its curriculum. So we have a brand new eBook page, a portal just for kids books.”

Three ways to encourage your child to read

“E-readers, like Mini, let them have instant access to their favorite stories without the distractions that other devices provide,” says Tamblyn.

Canada created an anti-cyberbullying act, whilst in the US an increasing number of books are being removed from the shelves as ‘unsuitable’… and see some babies on iPads.


Book Review: The Woman Reader

This looks like an interesting book – as someone who has buried myself in books for many years…

This ambitious book maps out the relatively undeveloped field of women’s reading habits across time and cultures, all in fewer than 350 pages. It is not an easy task, but Belinda Jack accomplishes it brilliantly. She shifts seamlessly between wide-ranging examples, from the Byzantine princess Anna Komnene, who persuaded her tutor to help her circumvent a parental ban on erotic poetry, to The Peony Pavilion (1598), a popular play whose heroine became an alter ego for the young Chinese women who read it obsessively to the point of exhaustion, prompting some concerned mothers to burn their copies.

Read full articlePurchase the book.


Digital Library?

Having watched a lecturer at the University introduce tablet PCs and seen engagement with the materials increase, an interesting story on digitisation and access:

South Korea plans to digitise all its school curriculum materials by 2015. The paper textbook will be replaced by a digital equivalent. No more heavy backpacks and students can learn wherever and whenever they wish. Simple. Universities, on the other hand, are not so simple. We don’t spoon-feed; we expect students to collect, sift and evaluate information from a wide range of sources. We equip our libraries with print and electronic materials. We also provide guidance to students on how to navigate core and background reading by providing them with reading lists.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, the reading list system does not work. In the National Student Survey, an all-too-common complaint from students is that “there were never enough copies of the books I needed”. Each time we librarians read this we have a feeling of deja vu – compounded by the fear that next year there will be less money and the situation will be worse. It will be, of course, because this autumn students will begin to wonder why, when they pay up to £9,000 in tuition fees a year, they cannot access the books they have been told are “essential”. If scientific experiments are a vital part of a course, the university will ensure access to labs – what is the difference?

Read full story.


Do students like reading? @timeshighered

A great article re dealing with that statement “students don’t like reading”, which we hear over and over, and courses tend to use ‘force’ to try and “encourage” students to read… A new approach:

Recently, I decided to act on this expectation and launched a “Reading Challenge” to my history undergraduates. This voluntary event encourages them to read 20 books for pleasure during their degree. It is not an attempt to force on them a “canon” of worthy literature; it presents them with a wide range of books from which they select titles that interest them.

Those who wish to take part receive a long bibliography broken into sections, including 20th-century fiction, philosophy, short stories and so on. The idea is that they choose and read at least two works from each area until they have reached the required number. Successful participants will receive a certificate and a small prize, but this will not be large enough to be an incentive in its own right.

In planning this with colleagues, it was suggested that we outline how a healthy amount of leisure reading can broaden knowledge, stimulate ideas and sharpen comprehension skills – and thus help improve a student’s chances of gaining higher grades. But I was instinctively resistant to this idea. I didn’t want students to think of this as “work”.

As it’s still in its infancy, I can’t say yet if it has worked. But when I ran the idea past my seminar groups, the reaction was positive – many students indicated that they would like to take part. We are also looking into the possibility of building some form of reading group into the challenge, and another colleague has offered to host an annual round-table discussion on a selected title. The idea is to create a structure that helps guide and motivate students to read for pleasure, supplying direction and encouragement, and – if possible – to build an undergraduate reading culture.

Read full story.