How do you feel about kids reading e-books?
The 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report, released Wednesday and commissioned by Scholastic Inc., offers a mixed portrait of e-books and families. Around six out of 10 of those between ages 9 and 17 say they’re interested in reading on an electronic device such as the Kindle or the iPad. Around one out of three from the same age group say they’d read more “for fun” if more books were available on a digital reader.
Studies have shown that kids are exposed too much ‘screen time’ (television, games, ‘learning’ games from companies such as LeapFrog, etc.), but what about e-books?
The 2010 report shows, as other studies have, a decline in reading for fun as children grow older. More than half read for fun between ages 6 and 8, but the percentage drops to around 25 percent by ages 15 through 17 and just 20 percent for boys in that age group. Newman sees technology as both a problem and possible solution.
“We know that around age 8 they (children) start to lose interest in reading,” Newman says. “Obviously, digital media is competing for kids’ attention. It’s very important that we as publishers make sure we’re engaging kids in reading for fun. There’s an opportunity to use technology to engage kids. … We can have great content presented in a digital way.”
The concept of e-books is relatively new, but I really don’t think they will be going away anytime soon. There are several devices you can choose from now-of course, there is Amazon.com’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and the iPad. I must admit that I am a little hesitant to buy one myself for several reasons- there is something so satisfying about the physicality of a books: holding it in your hand, turning the pages, the feeling of comfort being surrounded by books. Also, there is the price. It’s a little steep right now. The Kindle and Nook aren’t so bad, but they are soon to be on their way out as more e-readers become available. Right now the iPad Tablet goes for $546, or so. It’ll eventually go down-remember when CD players first came out? They were over $700. You can now get a portable CD player for $30 or less.
What it comes down to is this: if it gets them reading, I don’t see the problem. I’d rather have my kid reading an e-book than playing a video game or watching a movie.
See the entire Kids and Family Reading Report here. Scroll down to the bottom for a PDF version.
College is the place you can finally get away from your parents, to become responsible, learn new experiences. That’s not going to happen if you have Mom or Dad hovering around.
Of the colleges surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (which is part of The Washington Post Co.), 77 percent reported that parental involvement is increasing. As a result, 61 percent reported they were developing new programs for parents — special Internet sites, seminars and tours. Other schools “are cutting parents out of the admission process entirely,” Kaplan states in a release.
New programs just for parents? A ‘how not to hover workshop’? Sounds like a waste of money and a good way to give the kids a complex of some sort. Some parents are even going so far as to
…filling out applications for their children to calling the admissions office with questions, to even writing their children’s personal essays,” said Justin Serrano, president of pre-college programs at Kaplan.
Well, why don’t you just install a chip in your child so you can track everything they do. Better yet, GPS them! Tap they’re cell phones! I mean, really! Writing their essays for them? How are they going to learn anything if Mom and Dad do everything for them?
However, there are some colleges that set boundaries and do not allow the parents to hover, but talk directly and only to the student.
Alexa Gonzalez was led out of her school in the borough of Queens by police who had been called after she was caught scribbling “I love my friends Abby and Faith” and “Lex was here 2/1/10″ with an erasable marker pen.
She claims she was then “dragged” out of her Spanish class by her teacher and an assistant principal to the dean’s office where police were called.
Her lawsuit also claims she was later handcuffed to a pole for two hours in an “enclosed room” at a local police station.
Lawyers for Alexa, who is suing for £657,000 [about one million US dollars] in damagers, and her mother are claiming excessive use of force and violation of her rights.
Here we are in Utah again. This time lawmakers want to help cut the state deficit by putting advertising on the sides of school buses, starting with the Jordan School District.
Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, is sponsoring a bill that would allow school boards to sell advertising space on the exteriors of school buses. He said the Jordan School District’s financial troubles inspired him to run the bill. The Jordan board decided last week to cut hundreds of jobs and increase class sizes to deal with an estimated $30 million budget shortfall next school year.
There are a few stipulations: No alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling or sexual material are to be advertised and it must be age appropriate.
Naturally, there are concerns about the kids’ over-exposure to commercialism and the ads causing too much distraction all around.
“Somebody’s reading an advertisement and not realizing that the bus is stopping,” said Bob Riley, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. “We want them seeing one thing when they see a school bus, and that’s basically a yellow flag of caution.”
Childhood advocates Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood have spoken out on the subject as well, throughout other states.
What really irks me-amazingly-is not the fact that they are considering putting the ads on, but that they think the kids won’t actually pay attention to the ads.
One parent is actually quoted as saying:
“I don’t think they’d pay attention,” said Geurts, who has three teenagers and an 11-year-old in the Davis District.
Hate to say it, but Guerts’ statement seems a bit naive. Of course they’d pay attention. Kids pick up on everything.
Parent Trissy Bawden, also of Bountiful, called putting ads on buses, “a seemingly simple way to get some money for education which is much needed.”
Her husband, Sam Bawden, said he’s not as concerned about his four young children being exposed to ads as he is about them suffering the impacts of school budget cuts.
“The education budget is a bigger issue in my mind than commercialization,” he said.
In an effort to save money, State Senator Chris Buttars of Utah has proposed making 12th grade optional. Your last year of high school, optional.
He said eliminating 12th grade altogether would have saved $102 million.
If given the option to skip 12th grade that would save something like $60 million. Utah is certainly a state that could use some cuts here and there (especially when their state deficit runs to the tune of $700 million) , but I’m not sure cutting out 12th grade-cutting education- is the answer.
Are kids really ready to forgo Senior year? J. D. Williams doesn’t think so-
J.D. Williams, student body president at West Jordan High School in Utah, told thethat he’s against the plan.
“I need this year,” Williams said. “My parents are against it… All the teachers at the school are against it. I’m against it.”
Utah also wants to put ads on school buses to combat the state’s debt.
Neither idea is going over so well.
On cutting 12th grade:
“It is very shortsighted,” John Balden, president of the Utah chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, told ABC News. “Students don’t just play in 12th grade. They really do study. In higher education we find an awful lot of students unprepared for college. Twelfth grade is really a necessary grade.”
Many students actually use 12th grade to get everything in place and are thankful for the benefits the extra time provides.
What happens if Senior year gets the axe?
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