Tablets, babies and reading — Oh my!: Does video signal end of printed material?

The one-year-old reader in the video embedded below appears to show a baby who can’t understand why a print magazine doesn’t have all the digital functionality of an iPad app. (Via How a Modern Baby Thinks About Reading — GalleyCat)

 

While I am an advocate for the importance of understanding how new technologies, such as the iPad, may affect or enhance learning among “digital natives” like this baby, I’m not as convinced this video signals the end of printed material as the video’s creator seems to be:

“Technology codes our minds, changes our OS. Apple products have done this extensively. The video shows how magazines are now useless and impossible to understand, for digital natives. It shows real life clip of a 1-year old, growing among touch screens and print. And how the latter becomes irrelevant. Medium is message. Humble tribute to Steve Jobs, by the most important person : a baby.” (From the video’s YouTube description.)

I do believe touch-screen technology is instinctive for babies, and I do believe a baby is going to think a device with things moving on a bright screen is a lot more fun to play with than looking at static images on a page. I’m not convinced this baby has yet drawn any lasting conclusions about reading. She’s making the same touching, grasping motions on the magazine pages that babies everywhere have made for generations when exploring the world around them — those very motions are what make touch screen devices so instinctive and rewarding for babies.

I don’t think magazines or books are impossible to understand for young children as the video’s author claims … but they may become so if parents don’t take the time to teach their children about the differences in mediums and the importance of reading.

 

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One thought on “Tablets, babies and reading — Oh my!: Does video signal end of printed material?

  1. Children can be “bi-lingual.” Reading books and understanding technology. Give that same toddler a baby book and READ to him/her and they will be just as entranced with books as technology. My grandson loves to have someone read to him, and he knows how to turn on the dvd player and is learning to navigate the controller.

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