Posted by: Katie Minnick
Growing up, I loved to read. I devoured books of all subjects, genres and authors. As I got older, technology became more prevalent and developed. Xanga, Facebook, Twitter evolved, and took over most of the time I previously devoted to reading. While I still enjoy reading, I have to make myself sit down and do it for leisure.
My two younger siblings hate reading. They dread the act, and are forced to do it by my parents. Seeing this, and other kids like them, saddens me. Reading is such a great way to relax and let your imagination run wild. Unfortunately, many now consider it “nerdy” and worthless.
In 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that 67% of 4th graders have basic or below basic reading skills. Publishing companies have gone to extremes in order to get kids reading. They produce books like “Captain Underpants,” justifying the content with the excuse that at least kids are reading. If we go that far, we could justify that they are reading Facebook statuses, texts on their phones, video game chats, etc.
This isn’t just about the lack of reading in kids either. Many adults struggle to find time in their busy schedules to read the paper or for leisure. In 2006, it was found that one in four adults did not read a single book
Technology is definitely changing how we read and consume books. Many sites take people’s time and attention away from reading, such as Facebook and other forms of social media. However, the semi-recent introduction of e-readers, such as the Kindle and the iPad, reading might be making a comeback.
Do you think technology is helping or hurting the readers of America? What will change with the growing prevalence of e-readers? How should schools utilize these tools to get kids reading?