Has the humble book had its day? That’s the question many are asking as schools, councils and firms embrace tablets

Tablet children – Oliver Wooton, Emirhan Kaygisiz, Bethany Gangs, Amelia Smithers and Evie Rae Grinstead-Miller from North Crescent Primary School, Wickford

Tablet children – Oliver Wooton, Emirhan Kaygisiz, Bethany Gangs, Amelia Smithers and Evie Rae Grinstead-Miller from North Crescent Primary School, Wickford

First published in Local News by

ARE the days of the book numbered? The rise of iPads and Kindles have meant we are living in a society where books and writing are becoming less popular, with more shops making the most of their high-tech alternatives.

After hitting the shelves a few years ago, tablets are now everywhere.

A number of schools in the south of the county have been providing pupils with iPads.

North Crescent Primary School, in Wickford, bought 32 of the devices in 2012 so youngsters could use them in everything from maths to music.

Headteacher Lisa Wright thinks books and tablets can work together.

She said: “We have a responsibility to educate children for the 21st century and everything we do is linked in some way to technology.

“However, a balance must be found between this kind of learning and speaking, listening and writing. Some children are very comfortable on the iPads, but some are not.

“In an ever-changing work environment we need to come up with fresh ideas how to teach and interact with the children.

The iPads are a great help.”

Terry Flitman, headteacher at Wickford Junior School, in Market Road, has bought 16 iPads, but will soon be doubling the number. They will also be getting some Kindle e-readers for the school library.

He said: “A healthy mixture is crucial. I would hate to see books go, but we are always looking for innovative ways to teach. It is great for some subjects, and there are so many apps to help different needs.

“We are looking to help our impaired learners with the new equipment.”

It is not just schools using new technology to do the job.

They are also proving popular with councils looking to cut down on paper.

Castle Point Council has supplied all its councillors with a top-of-the-range iPad Air so they can e-mail constituents and read agendas at the touch of a button.

It claims the move will save the authority thousands of pounds.

However, one historian has reservations about whether the digital age will last.

Andrew Summers, of Essex Hundred Publications, said it is essential old books and cuttings are preserved.

He said: “The serious digital age has only been with us for 25 years, whereas print or written papers have been around for maybe 1,000 years, so even with the best will in the world and expense no object, a long time will be needed to get everything digitalised.”

Mr Summers added Essex Hundred Publications sold a record amount of children’s books last year.

He said: “Interaction with devices is all well and good, but interaction with people is essential too. Teachers still use books for class discussion and class interaction.

“There seems to be an evergrowing addiction for children age six to 14 to devices like the Xbox and games on their smart phone.

“However the same thing applies to adults too, especially the ever increasing reliance on satnavs that seems to be destroying all map reading skills and everybody’s sense of direction.

“So let us hope that, like our teachers and councillors, the origins of what we have learned will never truly leave us.”

Comments (12)

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11:36am Fri 28 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Books will NEVER be out of fashion.

Kindles are great for slipping in a pocket or bag when commuting or travelling but there is no greater pleasure than the look, feel and smell of a new book.

You can't display a kindle on a bookshelf or wall unit. You can't browse a kindle in a bookshop.

Books are more tactile and pleasurable to handle and children learn reading skills from an early age, by turning the pages and following the text. I saw an eighteen month old the other day, turning the pages of a book with ease and identifying pictures. Her mother told me she had introduced her daughter to books as soon as she was able to sit up.

I did this also, with my two - and both have fantastic English skills. My girl, for example, loves a good read and appreciates the pleasure of reading a book.

I agree that children should be introduced to new technology and be au fait with it but the pleasure of reading a book should never be undervalued.
Books will NEVER be out of fashion. Kindles are great for slipping in a pocket or bag when commuting or travelling but there is no greater pleasure than the look, feel and smell of a new book. You can't display a kindle on a bookshelf or wall unit. You can't browse a kindle in a bookshop. Books are more tactile and pleasurable to handle and children learn reading skills from an early age, by turning the pages and following the text. I saw an eighteen month old the other day, turning the pages of a book with ease and identifying pictures. Her mother told me she had introduced her daughter to books as soon as she was able to sit up. I did this also, with my two - and both have fantastic English skills. My girl, for example, loves a good read and appreciates the pleasure of reading a book. I agree that children should be introduced to new technology and be au fait with it but the pleasure of reading a book should never be undervalued. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 6

11:49am Fri 28 Mar 14

Lady Char says...

I've always read a book, never liked the idea of a kindle etc and because of this my now 13 month old took an intreast at a very young age unlike my teenage children (proberbly because I didn't have time to pick a book up when they were her age) she now has a huge collection of books mostly card and a couple of electronic ones, but it's always the card ones she brings to me (or the older ones) to read with her or show us something in them. My belief is books are the foundation of learning to read and write, technology can wait until these things have been mastered.
I've always read a book, never liked the idea of a kindle etc and because of this my now 13 month old took an intreast at a very young age unlike my teenage children (proberbly because I didn't have time to pick a book up when they were her age) she now has a huge collection of books mostly card and a couple of electronic ones, but it's always the card ones she brings to me (or the older ones) to read with her or show us something in them. My belief is books are the foundation of learning to read and write, technology can wait until these things have been mastered. Lady Char
  • Score: 2

12:16pm Fri 28 Mar 14

whateverhappened says...

Digital read is the future and in 10 years most books will be novelty items, so why waste 21 million on a library that is in fact so to be a museum.
Digital read is the future and in 10 years most books will be novelty items, so why waste 21 million on a library that is in fact so to be a museum. whateverhappened
  • Score: -5

2:46pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Lady Char wrote:
I've always read a book, never liked the idea of a kindle etc and because of this my now 13 month old took an intreast at a very young age unlike my teenage children (proberbly because I didn't have time to pick a book up when they were her age) she now has a huge collection of books mostly card and a couple of electronic ones, but it's always the card ones she brings to me (or the older ones) to read with her or show us something in them. My belief is books are the foundation of learning to read and write, technology can wait until these things have been mastered.
Totally agree with that final sentence. Spot on!
[quote][p][bold]Lady Char[/bold] wrote: I've always read a book, never liked the idea of a kindle etc and because of this my now 13 month old took an intreast at a very young age unlike my teenage children (proberbly because I didn't have time to pick a book up when they were her age) she now has a huge collection of books mostly card and a couple of electronic ones, but it's always the card ones she brings to me (or the older ones) to read with her or show us something in them. My belief is books are the foundation of learning to read and write, technology can wait until these things have been mastered.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with that final sentence. Spot on! Kim Gandy
  • Score: -1

4:33pm Fri 28 Mar 14

whateverhappened says...

Now i have always put Kim down as err you know slightly bonkers and a bit paranoid ....BUT she does have a stalker and impersonator it seems looking the names on this and other articles ..;;;;;;;;;;;
Now i have always put Kim down as err you know slightly bonkers and a bit paranoid ....BUT she does have a stalker and impersonator it seems looking the names on this and other articles ..;;;;;;;;;;; whateverhappened
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Fri 28 Mar 14

exBillericayDicky says...

I love books, I have loads, and I enjoy reading one far more than my Kindle. The feel of the paper brings the story I'm reading to life just that bit more.
I use my Kindle when I'm off on holiday where packing some books for the flight will take up lots of space and weight, it also means I can carry a variety of styles dependent on my mood. But when I arrive, I generally visit a book store and get a book to read on the beach (more waterproof) or in the park

Tablets have their use too, they are multi functional, but never underestimate the benefit of being able to write with a pen either, feel the paper under the nib.

My godson Loves his books, picking them up and giving me one to read him while he turns the pages. He is 2, and I wouldn't want him to be on a tablet until much older
I love books, I have loads, and I enjoy reading one far more than my Kindle. The feel of the paper brings the story I'm reading to life just that bit more. I use my Kindle when I'm off on holiday where packing some books for the flight will take up lots of space and weight, it also means I can carry a variety of styles dependent on my mood. But when I arrive, I generally visit a book store and get a book to read on the beach (more waterproof) or in the park Tablets have their use too, they are multi functional, but never underestimate the benefit of being able to write with a pen either, feel the paper under the nib. My godson Loves his books, picking them up and giving me one to read him while he turns the pages. He is 2, and I wouldn't want him to be on a tablet until much older exBillericayDicky
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

You're not likely to get mugged for a book.

A book won't run out of power.

You can't use a page from a kindle to wipe yer arris in an emergency.....
You're not likely to get mugged for a book. A book won't run out of power. You can't use a page from a kindle to wipe yer arris in an emergency..... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

6:54pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Kim ;Gandy says...

Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...
Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve... Kim ;Gandy
  • Score: -1

7:18pm Fri 28 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Kim ;Gandy wrote:
Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...
Your usual twaddle has reached new lowered depths, this story is about the children, something I expect you are a thousand miles away from...
[quote][p][bold]Kim ;Gandy[/bold] wrote: Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...[/p][/quote]Your usual twaddle has reached new lowered depths, this story is about the children, something I expect you are a thousand miles away from... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 2

12:58am Sat 29 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Kim ;Gandy wrote:
Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...
Obviously the posting of a deranged person. This is not me.

You will see my real comment s at the top. You can distinguish these from mine as this person is obviously quite illiterate, as well as a nutter. And the username is also slightly different.

Makes me smile that this moron would go to the trouble of imitating me. Obviously this means I am getting to him/her. This is obviously seething jealousy because this individual hasn't the b@lls to say it to my face.

I'm beginning to think now it maybe Cllr Cockroach. But then, he and Chucky are old pals as Chucky is a card carrying UKIP member but helps out the Labour group. Fifth columnist!
[quote][p][bold]Kim ;Gandy[/bold] wrote: Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...[/p][/quote]Obviously the posting of a deranged person. This is not me. You will see my real comment s at the top. You can distinguish these from mine as this person is obviously quite illiterate, as well as a nutter. And the username is also slightly different. Makes me smile that this moron would go to the trouble of imitating me. Obviously this means I am getting to him/her. This is obviously seething jealousy because this individual hasn't the b@lls to say it to my face. I'm beginning to think now it maybe Cllr Cockroach. But then, he and Chucky are old pals as Chucky is a card carrying UKIP member but helps out the Labour group. Fifth columnist! Kim Gandy
  • Score: -1

1:01am Sat 29 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
Kim ;Gandy wrote:
Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...
Your usual twaddle has reached new lowered depths, this story is about the children, something I expect you are a thousand miles away from...
Oh dear, have I upset you again?

I see you and your little band of twerps are up to your usual tricks.

Bad news is, I'm not going away. I will not be intimidated by lamebrains like you and your deranged pals.

And my comment is entirely relevant, unlike yours, which isn't even on topic. Keep up will you?

As for twaddle, I leave that to you. Your comments litter this site, like flytipping on the A127.

You are, quite frankly, a lower life form with the IQ of a peanut.

I apologise to peanuts everywhere.

See, outwitted again. I do hope you'll be upset enough to put a another post on and do a bit of thumbs downing.

Trouble is, I can't be bothered to read all of your blather. You are beneath my intelligence

;P
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim ;Gandy[/bold] wrote: Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...[/p][/quote]Your usual twaddle has reached new lowered depths, this story is about the children, something I expect you are a thousand miles away from...[/p][/quote]Oh dear, have I upset you again? I see you and your little band of twerps are up to your usual tricks. Bad news is, I'm not going away. I will not be intimidated by lamebrains like you and your deranged pals. And my comment is entirely relevant, unlike yours, which isn't even on topic. Keep up will you? As for twaddle, I leave that to you. Your comments litter this site, like flytipping on the A127. You are, quite frankly, a lower life form with the IQ of a peanut. I apologise to peanuts everywhere. See, outwitted again. I do hope you'll be upset enough to put a another post on and do a bit of thumbs downing. Trouble is, I can't be bothered to read all of your blather. You are beneath my intelligence ;P Kim Gandy
  • Score: -4

11:03am Sat 29 Mar 14

Barry Bas says...

Kim ;Gandy wrote:
Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...
It is obvious this is not the real Kim Gandy, the post is too short and concise. The real Kim Gandy has never knowingly posted anything less than a four paragraph post.
[quote][p][bold]Kim ;Gandy[/bold] wrote: Some books will never be replaced by a kindle, I'll leave it up to those who know their Right, from left, it seem I've touched a nerve...[/p][/quote]It is obvious this is not the real Kim Gandy, the post is too short and concise. The real Kim Gandy has never knowingly posted anything less than a four paragraph post. Barry Bas
  • Score: 4

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