Friday, July 27, 2007

Is reading declining? Should we care?

When I hear all this thing about kids reading less despite of Harry Potter and stuff I wonder one more time about why is it relevant? To me the answer is that it's relevant only because we did not figure out a way to use technology adequately to teach today's kids. Does anybody worry because we're not writing and drawing in the cave's walls anymore? What I'm trying to say is that the world changed and education is still the same and we're worrying about the wrong thing. We should not worry about kids reading more or less but we should concentrate in changing the education system so we can use the potential of all the tools and technology we have around and we figure out how to best use video and computers to support education. If kids love to watch TV, ok, let's see how to make TV a teaching tool. Let's change TV and make it work for us instead of against us.

Sometimes I think in a way that might seem a little too radical now, but I think that maybe reading/writing is a temporary evolutionary trait that will even disappear with time. Maybe when we can search in videos (by sound, by shapes, compare forms, etc) as we can in text and drawings today and we can see videos directly in our brains and transfer videos to one another instead of text, text as such looses the place it has today. I wonder if we loose too much abstraction when we go from text to video ... there should be a way not too ...

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