[RFHF] Print Awareness and the iPad

Marilyn K. Coxon mkcoxon at co.douglas.or.us
Sat Dec 3 15:23:28 PST 2011

              I agree with Heather. Books are better. The Nov./Dec. issue of Hornbook has a great article by Mo Willems in which he talks about digital books vs. real books:
             "With all their bells and whistles and word jumbles and assorted narrative killers, after we turn them on, they don't need us. Turn it on and leave the room, and the book will read itself.
             But a real book is helpless. It needs us desperately. We have to pull it off the shelf. We have to open it up. We have to turn the pages one by one. We even have to use our imagination to make it work...
             We have to do all of that, we have to do the work with our little minds and our flapping flights of fancy. So suddenly, that book is not just a book; it's our book. We're the ones making it work. We're the ones making it sing. Right there in our chairs as we gently flip the pages, we are, at our own pace, creating a living story just by reading."
                                                                                                          Marilyn Coxon
                                                                                                          Douglas County Library System


From: reading-for-healthy-families-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us on behalf of heather mcneil
Sent: Wed 11/30/2011 3:59 PM
To: 'Katie Anderson'; '(reading-for-healthy-families at listsmart.osl.state.or.us)'
Subject: Re: [RFHF] Print Awareness and the iPad

I've really appreciated the thoughts from several of you about this video.  You helped me keep an open mind, since my initial reaction was, "Yuck!"  But that's because I'm a traditionalist, who believes passionately in the importance of establishing a love of print right from the beginning.  And touching the screen of an iPad only provides what I call "flash and crash" entertainment, making things appear and disappear.  Does it teach creativity?  Language development that leads to social skills?  An understanding of how print works so that you can eventually handle a book and read from beginning to end?  What I see today is a generation of students who have absolutely no patience or comprehension about research.  If the answer to their question does not immediately pop out at them, literally, POP out at them on the screen, they just keep on clicking, here, there, anywhere, in hopes of randomly stumbling on what they need.  The concepts of continuity and contemplation are disappearing.


Yes, I agree that libraries need to make available whatever technology we can afford, and whatever information we have available, whether or not we support it.  We inform without judgment, and, like Rick said, make sure they receive the info about what the experts say as well, rather than making a decision just based on, "Oh, boy.  It's new.  It's slick.  I want it for my baby."  Shades of Baby Genius videos....


All of this brought back to my mind a story I heard many years ago, passed along from one storyteller to another.  Here's what I basically remember.


A television was brought into a village that had never before seen one.  For a week everyone was mesmerized, watching whatever was on, laughing at new images, listening to whatever was said.  The second week the people would occasionally glance at the TV, watch for a bit, then wander away to listen to a story from their storyteller.  By the third week the television interested only a few, and by the end of the month it sat, unnoticed, collecting dust.  However, the storyteller had a crowd, and everyone was singing, laughing, participating, with the story being told.  The one who had introduced the television asked a person in the village, "Why aren't you watching the television anymore?  It knows many more stories than your storyteller will ever know."  "Yes," agreed the person, "but the television does not know me."


I believe it is the interaction between parent/care provider and child that is much more essential than knowing how to use an iPad.  And I can't see any purpose as to why a baby needs to play with one.  


At Toddlin' Tales Storytime the other day a father brought in his two-year-old.  I'm always happy to see a father at storytime, and looked forward to seeing him have fun with his daughter.  Instead, he spent the entire 25 minutes tapping his iPhone.  Never spoke to the child, sang a song, looked at the book, nothing.  It was so very sad.


Thanks for all that each of you are doing to make a difference, and remind the adults how important interaction, play, conversation, reading aloud and role modeling are to the healthy development of a child.




From: reading-for-healthy-families-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [mailto:reading-for-healthy-families-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Katie Anderson
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 11:56 AM
To: (reading-for-healthy-families at listsmart.osl.state.or.us)
Subject: [RFHF] Print Awareness and the iPad


Here is a video of a 1-year-old growing up around iPad who is then given a magazine. Notice how she tries to turn the magazine pages by sliding and pressing her fingers.   ow.ly/1yzKXW <http://t.co/ft3MEMCk> 


Food for thought:

·         What might the implications be for her learning to read?  

·         Is this something to be concerned about or are the times changing?

·         If you think this is a concern, when and how should we family support workers and librarian talk with parents about this issue?

·         If you think the times are changing, how should we family support workers and librarian change to support children and families like the one portrayed in the video?




Katie Anderson, Library Development Services

* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *

Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301

katie.anderson at state.or.us, 503-378-2528 

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