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Technology & reading: Boom or bust?

Dear Keenreaders:

I know most parents and teachers wouldn’t agree with this, but I actually think technology is making kids more likely to read — just not long books. Your thoughts on whether the time spent on computers and texting is good or bad for reading?

—Technophile

Dear Technophile:

That’s a really good question and one that will probably be answered a little farther into the future. No question that kids read a lot more than they used to in communication. They text, chat, email. They’re using language, even if it is the abbreviated language of the technological age. More and more are reading longer stuff on Kindles and iPads and Nooks etc. and that trend is likely to continue. Again, I like balance. You have to be able to read to text and that’s a big plus, and you have to be able to read to find your way around the Internet. But there is value in story, also. The longer stuff. More than discouraging the abbreviated communication of technology, I would encourage the reading of longer, high interest material. None of this stuff is mutually exclusive, and we older folks have to figure out a
way to go the way the river’s flowing.

—Chris Crutcher

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