Friday, July 6, 2012

Books in Print vs eReaders

I came across a GREAT post by Keri over on her blog Sweet Life of Teaching. She discusses the importance of Books in Print vs. eReaders. There is an article in the NY TIMES about it. Both are a must read for teachers. I'll let you read both articles for yourself but the bottom line for me is there needs to be a BALANCE between the two. All the gadgets and technology are wonderful but we still need to enjoy a book in print together. With a gadget, too often the focus is on the device and not the story. Comprehension suffers.

Picture from

There's nothing better than sitting down with your child and reading and discussing a book together.
I remember when the Harry Potter Series came out. My youngest son was in 5th grade and I was taking a reading comprehension class at the time. So we decided we'd sit down and read the first book aloud together. It was a fantastic experience and memory! I got to practice the strategies I was learning in my class and my son got the benefit of asking questions, predicting, discussing, and understanding the story much more than he would have on his own.
Our district recently bought 3 Kindle Fires for each classroom. It will be fun to incorporate them into my classroom this next year. I know my firsties will be excited to use them. Our district also bought the RAZ KIDS program for each of our schools. It's a GREAT tool to get kids reading. You can read my post about it HERE. I'm all for motivation to get kids to read, whatever it takes. BUT let's not forget how important it is for parents AND teachers to sit down with kids and read together then talk about the books and stories. Have a great discussion about what we just read.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox for now. But I really think it's important for us as teachers to let the parents know the value of both.
I'd love to hear what you think!


Chrissy said...

Personally I'm torn between books in print and ebooks. I prefer books in print for myself, but I think my students are going to be reading e books as they get older. It would be nice to have kindles to expose the kids to that technology. I'm sure it would be useful in motivating some readers too. Hope you enjoy!
First Grade Found Me

Classroom Ponderings said...

I have used e-readers in the classroom on our IWB and read books as a whole class, sort of like an e-big book. I found it to be a fantastic experience but I don't think kids will ever lose that magic of opening a picture book and flipping back and forth through the pages.
Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

Unknown said...

Thank you for spreading the word about this topic! I love that you still were reading aloud with your 5th grader!! I bet most parents do not read with their upper ele. children. Again, many thanks! :)

Ms. B. said...

I think that students need to know how to read before venturing on to reading a book from Kindle. We MUST teach them the joy of looking for a book that interests them in a bookshelf, turning the pages, predicting, touching the book, comparing it to another, etc.! Not all students have access to kindles/ e-readers/laptops, computers, etc. at home. Therefore, we need to give them the ability to feel confident to go to the store or library and look for a book to read FOR FUN!!!! On the flip side, of course, I would not mind if students were to substitute a kindle for a video game console if it gets them reading. Like you said, whatever it takes. But giving them different ways to enjoy a story is essential. Teaching them to enjoy a real book is extremely important. That way, there's no excuse if the kindle falls and breaks to get them reading.

Ms. B. said...

I meant that students need to know how to read books before venturing on to the reading of books on a Kindle. Sorry...I got a little ahead of myself!

Barbara said...

What a cool mother/son memory:)

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Marlyce said...

Good thoughts! Do you think we will ever be a paperless society--completely? I can't imagine it. Maybe it will happen someday...but I can't see it happening in my lifetime! I love books too much and I sure hope I have passed that love onto others. I like e-readers too...but there is just something about the tangible feel of the paper and being able to physically turn the pages! I love to read a real "page turner!" Will that phrase become obsolete?

kherbert said...

Thank you for not dismissing E-readers outright. I've always been a big reader, despite being dyslexic. I have found that E-readers reduce some of the symptoms of dyslexia. Being able to adjust the contrast between the text and background and being able to control the size of the text is a big help.