|E-readin' tykes image ᔥ NYT|
Julianna’s teacher, Kourtney Denning, sees e-books as essential. “Old books don’t really cut it anymore,” she said. “We have to transform our learning as we know it.”Look, I love my kindle. I make no bones about it. Heck, I like it so much I am trying to give one away and am, frankly, surprised it's turning out to be so hard to do so. But, self-promoting giveaways aside, no. No, no, no, e-books are not "essential" and "old books" do, in fact, "cut it," still. (And I'm already including the kindle -- not the Fire, the plain old, good for nothing much more than reading kindle -- in the "old books" category, without giving them preference over ink on paper books.)
Dammit, kids don't need music and blinking lights with every stupid thing in order for it to hold their attention. Or, more accurately I suspect, destroy their ability to fix their attention on something. We know that the mental discipline to delay gratification is key to growing into a properly functioning adult. We also know, or strongly suspect, reading is a powerful tool for empowering the mind.
Let them wait and get their music and blinking lights from TV and video games in their proper dose. Reading is its own reward. Let it be enough. Show them that it is enough. It is both sufficient and necessary to developing a keen mind. Says the old-timer who grew up on paper books, audio cassettes, and the Atari 2600.