Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ebooks for kids

My library recently put out a survey about ebooks which got me thinking about how downloadable and online books will affect our children's future as readers.  Online books, books on your phone, books on DVD, and audio books are all things my kids and (someday) my students are going to be exposed to. So, it's time to get hip. This week I've been doing research on what's available for children, and the pros and cons of using a variety of media materials.
An ebook is a book that can be read online or downloaded to a personal computer, book reader, phone, etc. Many ebooks are digital versions of books that are already in print.

I've researched pros and cons to using digitized books with children this week. Generally, the reviews have been positive.

Other positives to using ebooks with children:
  • Ebooks are interactive and engaging with children.
  • Children need to computer literate as well as being literate in traditional forms of print.
Oh, and this "pro" seriously made me laugh. out loud. for a long time.
  • "Ebooks are indestructible". Seriously? The author could not have had children. At least not my children. If it has been created, they can destroy it. Can I get an Amen from other mommas? (Ps. My husband would like to chime in and say that he would rather have our child tear up a $5 book than a $200 blackberry.)
  • Ebooks don't require children to utilize concepts about print (finding the front of the book, the Title, where to begin reading, turning pages, moving in a linear fashion through text).
  • Many of the free books available are not current titles and many are just little phonics readers-- although helpful, not quality literature. (BTW, I'm ok with paying for ebooks. I'm all about supporting authors, just stating some facts here.)
  • Ebooks may not allow your child the "lap experience" of reading with a parent. This was the best article I found on the cons of reading with ebooks.
  • Ebooks could create a passive reader. Ebooks are supposed to be interactive, however, my son seemed to just passively absorb the moving animation and the sounds. He was much less interactive than he is with a traditional book. The more we read, the more he warmed up to the idea.
Reading to your kids may look different that it did when your parents read to you. Welcome to the Future!
What do you think? Do you utilize ebooks with kids?

1 comment:

  1. Okay the potty book caught my attention because I'm posting about potty training later this week.

    The thought of Ebooks makes this book lover cringe. Not saying they're aren't pro's, but I just love to curl up with good books. It's even better curling up with my children and a pile of good books.

    Living at the beach is my first choice but living at the library or the book store is my second choice!

    Now I'm going to go read Jane Eyre as I tuck myself into bed. No really, I'm reading my old copy of Jane Eyre, again. It's much better than an Ebook! :)