Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tablet Computers in the Schools

The NY Times has an article here describing the push to get tablet computers into the hands of every school child.   It was interesting to me that most of the comments (at the time of this writing) were negative, with most parents thinking their kids had enough screen time.

My 37 years of teaching high school English engraved two truths on my soul.  One is that if kids are not interested and engaged, they don’t learn.  Technology could be a huge help here. 

But the other truth is that only avid readers develop sophisticated academic skills.  If children were given online bookstore accounts and helped to download books they could easily love, then I would support tablets computers.  The kind of reading that develops avid readers—series books, genre fiction—would be easily available to them. 

It became clear to me while teaching that higher-income children are more likely to become avid readers because they have the parents with the money to buy that next books in a series they love, or the next novel by their favorite author.  If we could put that capability into the hands of all of our children, there would not be an education crisis.

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