Monday, 28 July 2008

Kids' Reading skills

There's a debate (see New York Times : "Literacy debate R U really reading?" in the United States at present about whether kids read as their parents used to, and whether the Web is having a beneficial or pernicious effect. As Will Ricahardson says in Weblogg-ed
"As teenagers’ scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading — diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books.
But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write."
Should kids be taught to read online? Will Richardson thinks we do need to help them to navigate online reading sources and get a balance between print and digital. School librarians have a role here I would suggest. Surely there is huge richness in the content of the Web, fantastic opportunity for making connections, but at the same time the need to be able to read and comprehend a complex argument or follow a long narrative are skills which will need to be retained and fostered.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

I think that reading both online and offline is important for kids--consider that in our daily lives we do both.

The key really neds to be that both methods of delivery are important and finding ways to help kids have a multimedia experience is what is going to carry them through the realities of this day and age.

Our site, The Cupcakes Club tries to do just that by offering girls aged 7-12 an online book club that coincides with the books that they receive every few months. We want to tie both means of reading it together.

The Cupcakes Club