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Old 09-09-2010, 11:54 AM   #16
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It's not so much that the child needs to turn the pages themselves in such a situation, it's that you need to observe how they behave with something like pages, so you can sense if they have grasped certain important concepts that prepare them to read. If they have not grasped these concepts, it is a sign they are not developmentally ready to learn to read independently.
And what, pray tell, differs between a book and an iPad in this regard? I really enjoy a good "I'm so smart" followed by truly tragic reasoning.

If you give a book to a child....and go away...you have no more of all those good things you are attributing to a book. If you sit you child in your lap and read with them on you iPad -- you have ALL of those good things.

And MORE. Because the books themselves can be interactive. I remember when my first child started pestering me at the computer. I didn't want the computer to become the "place of NO!" so I bought some JumpStart reading applications.

At 1.5yrs old, she sat in my lap and we went through the reading/games application together. She learned to use the mouse, and it was all that a book could possibly be and MORE.

I can only imagine how much better it would be with an iPad where we could do the same thing on the couch or on the floor or at the table.

Of course I'm going to give my grandkids (hopefully a good few years from now) actual physical books. But by then there will by "Playschool iPad" or some such as well. It will be fantastic.

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Old 09-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #17
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The difference between a book and an ipad is the tactile aspect. Please understand, I am not saying iPads are bad or that children cannot or should not ever use them. I am saying they should use them only as an addition to a paper book at that stage of development and not as a total replacement. Why are you so against that?
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:26 PM   #18
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The difference between a book and an ipad is the tactile aspect. Please understand, I am not saying iPads are bad or that children cannot or should not ever use them. I am saying they should use them only as an addition to a paper book at that stage of development and not as a total replacement. Why are you so against that?
I was against only what I spoke against? Where in anything I wrote did I say iPad's should completely replace pbooks?

I pointed out that EVERYTHING a poster said about the value of a book for children had NOTHING to do with the book.

And for this response, I'd question what information you have that establishes that there is some "goodness for children" about the paper form of a book? What tactile goodness comes from the physical book that would harm the growth of a child were they to not have access to it?

Surely picking up things and looking at things are accomplished with blocks and stuffed animals and the like -- and books too. I guess a book would be a better teething instrument than an iPad, but that's about it.

I'm sure I'll give my grandchildren all kinds of physical books. They are cheap. You won't care if they rip a page or drop them in the bath tub. You don't need to supervise them to keep them from destroying a book (a kids' book).

But for "learning to read" and bonding with books and developing the love of reading. eBooks are likely BETTER than physical books, particularly when you speak of interactive books/games.

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Old 09-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #19
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But that is not 'learning to read' so much as 'learning to play a game' or 'learning to use a computer.' They are different things. A book is a type of manipulative. An iPad is a type of technology. They are simply not the same things. I am not talking about 'developing a love of reading' or 'bonding with books.' I am talking about the skills a pre-reader needs to acquire (and demonstrate) in order to assess their readiness to learn to read. That cannot be replicated with technology. Once they *are* reading, that can.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #20
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i'd like to mention about the interacting with paperback books. my 17 month old has lots of books which have "lift the flap", which she loves and will do herself, as well as toggles to pull to make things move or pop out. fantastic. not sure how you'd do that with an ereader. although i assume these are relatively new features for childrens books, it illustrates the tactile aspect. my 17 month old can manipulate a book with ease, but i don't think she'd have the dexterity to manipulate technology in the same way.

we have a bookshelf where she can see and access the books and chooses books for us to read to her. i don't see how this would work on a device? even at her age she can pick up a book and look through it. I can't see this working on any ipod/ereader/computer. I can't help but think that this is encouraging an enjoyment of books and in the future will aid her when she learns to read.

just my thoughts on the issue. :-)
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:44 PM   #21
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But that is not 'learning to read' so much as 'learning to play a game' or 'learning to use a computer.' They are different things. A book is a type of manipulative. An iPad is a type of technology. They are simply not the same things. I am not talking about 'developing a love of reading' or 'bonding with books.' I am talking about the skills a pre-reader needs to acquire (and demonstrate) in order to assess their readiness to learn to read. That cannot be replicated with technology. Once they *are* reading, that can.
Since when is play a bad way to learn? Are younsure you are an expert on child education? Next thing you'll advocate removing pictures from kids books because that's not reading either.

I guess we should stop producing Sesame Street as well.

On an iPad you have every thing you have with a book except perhaps a popup book. You don't have to have animation...but you have that option. You don't have to have music...but you have the option.

All the bonding you see happening with physical books is merely because that was all we had. Kids will love their ebooks just as much and perhaps more. Well, once you get past the book as chew toy and teether stage

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:00 AM   #22
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Again, Lee, I am not talking about 'bonding' at all. I don't know why you keep bringing that into this. And I don't know why you are so against paper books. You accuse people of being anti ebook, and it seems you are anti paper book for some bizarre reason. If paper books can help kids learn (as has been illustrated above by other posters, not just me) why are you so opposed? My whole point is, I am saying we should not have ONLY one option. There are times and places for ebook readers with kids, and there are times and places with paper books. They are different experiences. Why is that so threatening to you?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:30 AM   #23
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But that is not 'learning to read' so much as 'learning to play a game' or 'learning to use a computer.' They are different things. A book is a type of manipulative. An iPad is a type of technology. They are simply not the same things. I am not talking about 'developing a love of reading' or 'bonding with books.' I am talking about the skills a pre-reader needs to acquire (and demonstrate) in order to assess their readiness to learn to read. That cannot be replicated with technology. Once they *are* reading, that can.
You keep saying they need to read pbooks to develop "a skill" and demonstrate they're "ready" to read. But the idea that children only demonstrate readiness to read paper books is very limiting! I don't think you're truly looking to the future when you make statements like this. Yes, I agree that pbooks are, currently, much more fun because of color and manipulation (for infants/toddlers). But that's just them using the book as a toy, not as a book. And at some point, the technology will catch up with some of this, and guess what? Kids will still learn to read!

The skills you mention: ability to turn a page, ability to follow the words with a finger, ability to hold the book right-side up... these all apply to ereaders as well. Just because it's made of plastic or metal doesn't make it a completely different beast. Should we also differentiate between reading signs to our children? I mean, it's completely different to read at a distance from a billboard than it is to read from a book while sitting on someone's lap. Is it a different skill? Of course not.

I guess I'm being radical by suggesting that the joy and skill of reading is in the WORDS and comprehending the IDEAS and is not tied to the medium upon which the words are written.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:38 PM   #24
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Sorry Joanna but I just don't come to the same conclusion. I agree that tactile learning is important but I don't see a direct like between the tactical properties of a piece of paper and the ability of a human to learn to read. Your cognitive example just shows that the observational tools that you've learned to assess learning are based on how the child interacts with a paper book, it doesn't mean that new tools can't be developed to more accurately access them. Adults associate reading with paper because that's how we learned. Children don't have to.

If tactile learning is important I can see possibilities where as children touch objects in a room the word for that object displays on a screen? Of course it would probably end up being "nose", "mouth", "nose", "mouth", "ear", "underwear"....

I think that ebooks open new opportunities to teach kids to learn beyond the limitations of a static page. I saw this TV commercial that demonstrates an early attempt by one company.
http://www.vtechkids.com/v.reader/
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:13 PM   #25
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If tactile learning is important I can see possibilities where as children touch objects in a room the word for that object displays on a screen?
Younger children love interactive whiteboards, which allow them to 'get hold of' words and manipulate them. They can match the words to images, sounds or even animations. Some of the available software is really flexible, and allows you to script pretty much whatever interactions between user and language you can invent.

For me, two key problems remain with this technology.

- There's one board and up to thirty children. They can learn by watching others using the board, but the level of engagement can't match that of while they are at the board. This problem will be solved when the technology is cheap and robust enough / the government are prepared to invest properly and every child has a interactive slate device with a colour screen. Practicality demands that this is developed by an educational company - the iPad is not the answer for a number of reasons.

- It still remains that the current technology is not particularly useful for having the children read a story themselves (not necessarily in silence on their own). Yes, children learn through play. Yes, there's nothing inherently uneducational about whizzy graphics and learning on a screen. However, I still think OP is right, and a physical book is a more tangible thing to a child than what are obviously pixels on a screen with current technology (this from somebody who is enirely happy to get rid of pbooks once I have them as ebooks). There's a benefit to a book having a cover, blurb and physical presence for a child learning to read. I suspect that it is easier for them to 'take ownership of' a story when they are holding a pbook.

The relative benefits of pbooks may become less if devices much more specifically tailored to this purpose are developed in the future. Devices that become the property of the child and are used throughout the day. Devices that have much more tactile touch interfaces to aid interactivity. Devices that are able to handle two-way communication with an e-board controlled by the teacher and the students.

If the student considers the device to be truly their own, if it has a colour screen, sound and an intuitive touch interface as well as striking presentation developed specifically for the medium, and if the screen no longer resembles a screen (so as to make the child think of it as a tangible physical object rather than an electronic device) - then pbooks will cease to have an advantage over ereaders as reading devices for young students of reading their native language.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:09 PM   #26
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For earliest readers, I think Joanna is right about the tactile thing. Then there is the practical fact that they'll probably see how it tastes and how it sounds when you pound it on the floor and if it's hardier than "this other thing" that they bang it together with.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:32 PM   #27
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If we are talking about books as teething devices, we aren't talking about reading.

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Old 09-11-2010, 06:41 PM   #28
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And what, pray tell, differs between a book and an iPad in this regard? I really enjoy a good "I'm so smart" followed by truly tragic reasoning.

If you give a book to a child....and go away...you have no more of all those good things you are attributing to a book. If you sit you child in your lap and read with them on you iPad -- you have ALL of those good things.

And MORE. Because the books themselves can be interactive. I remember when my first child started pestering me at the computer. I didn't want the computer to become the "place of NO!" so I bought some JumpStart reading applications.

At 1.5yrs old, she sat in my lap and we went through the reading/games application together. She learned to use the mouse, and it was all that a book could possibly be and MORE.
I can only imagine how much better it would be with an iPad where we could do the same thing on the couch or on the floor or at the table.

Of course I'm going to give my grandkids (hopefully a good few years from now) actual physical books. But by then there will by "Playschool iPad" or some such as well. It will be fantastic.

Lee
I somewhat agree here.

I say this though: Get an 'ereader' OR a 'book' and read to a kid. The kids mind is what is improtant here. The format of the story is secondary.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:30 PM   #29
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To a point.

For preschoolers, sure...for all primary education (as it sounded like you implied -- I hope I'm wrong) no way. There's a stage of development that requires the tactile and kinesthetic aspects of real books. That's why we give toddlers board books and books with crinkly things and pop-up books and so on.

However, there are many advantages to be had in ebook readers for primary schoolers.

Understanding that words *are* an abstract. Kids instinctively know that context matters, and use it. That's why many kids can recognize "stop" on a stop sign, but not in a book.

We expose kids to words and writing in many contexts: signs, books, newspapers, games, packages, post-it notes, refrigerator magnets, and so on, so that they can learn that the word itself has meaning. One more new context can only be a good thing.

Cool factor Nothing gets reluctant readers to change their tune better than a little cool factor. We encouraged my son to read and write with invisible (UV reactive) ink and a blacklight, fountain pens, gel pens, pencils of all kinds, a vintage typewriter, a computer, a huge collection of bookmarks, and so on. An Ebook reader would be a welcome addition.

Portability Think it's hard for grown-ups to drag a pile of books along on a trip? It's harder for kids, because they are smaller. They get even more benefit than adults do from the added portability.

Accessibility Kids' books often try for "fun" with an overabundance of colors and fancy writing. That's great unless your child has a visual impairment. My son is colorblind, and can't read many children's books because of the color combinations they use. Similarly, another child may benefit from being able to change fonts or resize text.

Freedom from the toy factor This is the biggest benefit that ereaders can offer little kids. With their attention span and (lack of) patience, ordering books online and waiting for a package is less than ideal -- especially in rural areas where delivery takes longer.

Libraries and brick-and-mortar book stores (with one exception) are off-limits in our family because they all (yes, including the public library) have as many, if not more, toys in the children's book department as they do books!

It's really hard to raise little ones who value reading when every interaction with books is bombarded from all sides by sparkly toys and novelty items. With an ebook reader, one can download books immediately, and toys don't have to be part of the equation at all.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:51 PM   #30
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I did not say all of primary---I said pre-chapter books. Kids learning how to read. I am comparing the paper book to a math manipulative---we do have third graders who use those form time to time while learning a new math concept, for example, but the bulk of the use is by the little ones. And the math manipulative industry (and trust me, there are dozens of catalogues for this sort of product) has not been threatened at all by the existence of the calculator.

I know several second graders who would love ebooks. I would not give it to a kindergartner though.
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