Thursday, October 7, 2010

"i Pacifiers????"

"People are reading less. They may buy Kindles or iPads, but I venture that they're just showcasing their ability to buy the latest gadgets rather than reading much on them.

I encourage you to attend a class in which I attempt to teach college students raised on texting, the internet, video games (which their ignorant parents tell them are educational or intelligence boosters), and various other iPacifiers. My students are thoroughly distracted. They tell me that it is physically painful for them to sit and read for more than ten minutes. They are always looking for the next text, the next google search, the next hit. They're like addicts who can't control themselves. Their brains are not like the brains of students I had only five years ago.

They also think that they don't need to know anything, because they can just use google--something they treat as a collective brain. God help them when they're told that being an educated person means going a lot deeper than the dubious entries in wikipedia.

The drop in the literacy levels of my middle-class, largely white, suburban students in the last 2 years alone is staggering. Don't tell me that people are switching to e-reading. They're not. People are reading less and if my students are any indication, many of them are not reading books at all."

This was written by an anonymous college professor in reply to an article in the NY Times about why people aren't buying books. I thought the comment was pretty relevant to what is really happening - especially with students.


Rock Chef said...

We encourage our kids to read as much as possible - if they find something they want to read we will buy it for them - happily, even if it is the entire set of "A Series of Unfortunte Events", for example.

eBooks will be a poor substitute, IMO. You can't beat a good book!

terri said...

I love to read, and although it's the words and the story that grab me and hold on tight, it also has to do with the feel of the pages against my fingers and the cover of the book. Might sound silly, but I love books for more than just the words inside.

Only one of my kids is an avid reader like me, and like Rock Chef, I will willingly buy her any book she wants, just because it is such a worthwhile purchase.

Needled Mom said...

I have to admit that I swore to never use a Kindle. I got one as a gift and love it because of it's portabilit and that I can make the print size much easier for my "old" eyes. But.....I do think that the kids today are way too distracted by all of their other electronic toys.

Teresa said...

I agree w/ every.single.word. It's actually very sad and not a good direction for us to be going!

Claire said...

I could see myself using a Kindle for some things - I'm not opposed to electronic devices - I guess what really disturbs me are people who are so constantly engaged in whatever electronic device they are using at the moment that they are not even aware of what is really surrounding them - reality.
And how is this influencing the children?