From The Bookseller:
Novelist Howard Jacobson has said children may be illiterate in 20 years’ time, thanks to the rise of smartphones and social media platforms such as Twitter.
The journalist and 2010 Man Booker prize-winner told The Times that childrens’ capacity to concentrate on books was being adversely affected by social media and smartphones, conceding even his own concentration span had been “shot by this bloody screen”.
As a result, in the space of 20 years he predicted “we will have children who can’t read, who don’t want to read”.
“I can’t read any more as much as I used to. My concentration has been shot by this bloody screen. I can’t do it now — I want space, I want white pages, light behind the page,” he said.
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Some Twitter users have hit back at Jacobson’s views.
Author Nikesh Shukla said Jacobson’s view was “snobby”, “boring” and “wrong”, while trade marketing manager at Bounce Marketing, Graeme Williams, said on the platform: “Awww. I remember when they said this about texting when I was a young’un. Somewhere someone probably said the same about telegrams.”
Meanwhile, also to the contrary, drawing on its research the National Literacy Trust (NLT) said new technologies can play “a hugely important role” in helping to develop children’s literacy skills.
Its research showed e-books positively impact teenage boys’ reading motivation and skills, when a 2015 project saw the percentage of boys who felt reading was “difficult” cut in half from 28.0% to 15.9%, suggesting confidence in their own reading ability also increased as a result of using technology. Another 2016 research project saw six in 10 (59.7%) early years practitioners say they would like to increase the use of touch screens.
Link to the rest at The Bookseller