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Old-fashioned reading vs. the tablet

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Back in the day when there was still the freedom to walk to school if you lived close by, there was nothing better than to pop by the town library on your walk home after school and inhale the smell of books. The youth of today, unfortunately, does not know the value or feeling of getting lost in a soft or hardcover novel. From the minute children are old enough to walk they are handed an iPad or tablet to expand their knowledge and play games. Yes, we have come very far in the technological era, but are tablets really the better alternative to a good old-fashioned book?

Tablet ownership has more than doubled in the past few years – and as many parents are finding, children are highly proficient at using them, in fact, they put us to shame! But are these devices harmful to children’s development or do they promote so-called technological intelligence? 

Our young “digital natives” are much more likely to absorb information from printed books rather than screens even though they have grown up surrounded by iPads and smartphones, new research shows. The analysis of how more than 170,000 people are learning across Europe for example, finds that paper is the preferred reading medium for both children and young adults when reading novels and longer-form articles. Researchers have also found that young readers are more likely to skim longer pieces of text when using iPads or e-readers, especially when they are pressurised for time.

Not only does old-fashioned reading benefit a child’s mind more, but there has also beenn a lot of research done on the benefits of parents reading to their children. This encourages a child’s cognitive development, improves language skills and academic performance and also help a great deal when it comes to their emotional development. ,Much has been written about the myriad benefits of parents reading to their children. Research shows that it encourages a child’s cognitive development, improves language skills and academic performance, and helps with emotional attachment.

Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain that indulging in screen time. If children sit and read quietly every day, this will also help them develop their concentration skills and transport their mind to a world of words that they might not be exposed to on digital platforms. Classic stories and novels will help children learn more about the world around them and give them a different perspective of what they already know in their protected and enclosed world dictated by technology.



Old-fashioned reading vs. the tablet


Inge Liebenberg




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