Before we get into further discussion, take a look at the video, and then we’ll talk!
So, what do you think? Is it great to see a baby interacting with an iPad, or do you worry that she won’t understand how to use print material when she’s older? Did Steve Jobs really code her OS? The author of a short post on American Editor finds it worrisome for another reason:
It symbolizes the problem I see with the future of language and the acceptance of Twitter-speak/spelling as the norm.”
Me thinks these people doth protest too much.
Here’s a story: my colleague and friend Sadie has a young son named Fox who recently put his hand on his father’s laptop screen. He stretched his fingers wide and said “bigger!” When the image on the screen didn’t respond, he looked at his dad quizzically as if to say: “What kind of crappy technology is this?!”
So Fox knows how touch screens are supposed to work. But, of course, he also knows how books and magazines work. (I mean, his mom’s a librarian. Hello?!) And I’m sure he’s figured out that all screens don’t incorporate touch technology. It’s the same with my grandnephew and grandniece. Put an iPod Touch in their hands, and they’re all over it. Put a book in their hands, and they can turn pages and read the printed word.
Young children are remarkable creatures. They are born to investigate and explore the world around them, whether they come across a rock or an iPad. More importantly, we remain learners throughout our lives. When you were growing up, did you really expect to see the day when you could pull up information, watch videos, play music and make phone calls on a device smaller than a portable transistor radio? And yet, chances are you’ve mastered that device well enough to find it remarkably useful.
Some academicians believe we are moving toward a post literate world; but, honestly, I don’t see this video as Exhibit One in any future investigation exploring why the human race has lost the ability to read.
It’s all good, people. So calm down.
Now, Siri? Now, that’s something we really have to worry about!