Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reading on the iPad

Fish School App for the iPad

I think Beansprout has learned his ABCs from the iPad.  Yep, it's true.  I have tried really hard not to be too "teacher" with the little guy, so I've let all that kind of stuff be - we read together and have fun and that's that.  Yet, I have noticed recently when I ask him which letter comes next, that he knows the answer!  I've had my hesitations about technology with him, but right around when he turned two, we started downloading apps and letting him play around a little bit.  There's a great app that sings the ABC song and has fish and popping bubbles and Beansprout loves it!  So, he's learned the alphabet.

Though there are some great learning apps, I have had a hard time accepting children's books on the iPad.  We've purchased Cat in the Hat, Meet Toby: A Thomas Story, and Dr. Seuss' ABCs, but I'm not convinced Beansprout sees the iPad as a reader.  He's happier keeping the two separate -- doing an interactive thing on the iPad and interacting with me and a book on my lap.  I was intrigued when I saw an article on the subject from Slate magazine.  The author mentions that the iPad offers some pretty cool features, but also isn't convinced that his child likes it more than an actual book.  I think there must be something to the bonding that I discussed in my post the other day.  What children love about reading stories is the attention and the closeness they get from their parents, so it's easy to understand their preference -- as soon as an electronic device is present, the interactions are gone.  

I have always been rather tactile/kinesthetic myself.  I'm the person you'll see touching all of the racks of clothing in the store, just because I want to see how it feels.  So it still surprises me that I've grown to like the iPad reader for myself - I love the feel and the smell and the look of books, I didn't think I could give that up.  I'm still reading printed books, but I've found it's pretty convenient to have books on the iPad, too.  Is it unfair to enjoy it for myself, but not think it appropriate for my little guy?  Maybe when he's older and reading on his own . . .

What are your thoughts on the e-reader?  What do you think future reading will look like for young people today?

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