A culture of reading (+ technology)

I have had a series of conversations with different teachers and other educators about reading. Invariably the notion of a culture of reading comes up and just as invariably it is pitted against ‘technology’, as if it is something we need to save from the onslaught of technology.

Reading programs at schools and centres often want to focus on book reading, as if that is the only reading worthy of being part of the culture. I met with some educators who had implemented a ‘drop everything and read’ kind of program at their adult education centre and asked them about reading on devices – mainly phones and tablets. They proudly said, Oh no. This is a break from electronics – no devices allowed.

I have a difficult time seeing reading as something separate from technology. Of course, it is something that I used to do before I had a computer or ereader or tablet or smart phone but now I see those things as deepening the culture, widening it.

Yesterday, I wrote an article at one of my other blogs about how a culture of reading exists in my house that included a review of a phonics and vocabulary app called Endless ABC. Reading is an important part of my life and I share this with my two year old. I can’t imagine telling him that some reading is better than other reading. That some formats are better than others.

What do you think about a culture of reading and how it is fostered in schools, classrooms, homes?

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