Last month I attended a Sunday family lunch for my niece, Anika’s, seventh birthday. After we had all been fed and were ready for a good cup of coffee and a possibly a nap in the warm afternoon sun, Anika was ready to tear open all her gifts.
Clearly things had changed from the time I turned seven years old. To my surprise (or shock might be more appropriate), her parents were presenting her with a brand new Apple iPad. Her face lit up.
On my seventh birthday I distinctly remember experiencing a very similar reaction to my first Harry Potter book and here I was witnessing a whole new concept, questioning what went wrong along the way?
A fortnight ago I visited my niece again. The entire afternoon was spent around her iPad. She was either using this device to assist her with the minimal homework a Grade 2 child receives, to reading an e-book her mother had bought her from the iBooks app. I sat taking in the tremendous change which has come across in the platforms of print and publication. Evidently, writing in and reading from a paper-back book has clearly diminished! The thought, that as a twenty-one year old, I continue to hand write my study notes and use textbooks to learn was a just a little intimidating.
BUT when it came to looking into this a little further, I think I may have been swayed! To anyone that does their research (that being a simple Google search) it is quite indisputable that e-readers, kindles, iPads, iPhones, tablets, e-books and the various other platforms of the like are here to stay. Not only are they a prominent facet of our future but they help Anika and the children of today with learning and education.
Now, I know a lot of us feel that there is nothing which compares to a paper-back book; the smell of that old library book, turning through the crisp pages, seeing the marks of old donkey ears and replacing them with a new set. However, with an ever-changing global context, we have to be open to change and seeing the way our children replace old media with the new is truly inspiring (definitely still shocking but inspiring nonetheless). These children have been moulded for the ways of the future, being provided with the skill set to rise to occasion.
I do feel printed publications are slowly and steadily on the way out. Yes, I will still be hand writing my notes and using textbooks (the way I know I learn best) but at the same time I know I wont be attending a class under prepared, with the help of my trusty Apple iPad I have all my lectures and readings accessible anywhere and anytime!