The Guardian this week published an article about whether interactive book apps were positive or negative things for young children.
It’s an interesting read, essentially asking the question: what is important about the reading experience?
[Ferelith] Hordon says… “They are great fun and they have their place. But on the whole, they distract from the reading experience. For very small children there is something very special – and something that needs to be treasured – in listening to the parent’s voice reading.
“If you start putting pop-ups and twiddles and voices into the picture book experience, where is the difference between that and a film or a game? In this world in which there is so much noise and movement is there no value in promoting stillness and thought?”
It’s definitely a controversial thing to challenge what people see as the next advance in this type of technnology, and it opens up a whole discussion about what reading is.
Is it reading because the words are on screen? Is it reading because its about a story? Does it matter which format the words are in, or is reading fundamentally about scriptism – that our society has decided that the written word is the most perfect form of language, the most ideal – perhaps the most idealised?