After my blog post on VAT on eBooks and reading Lucy’s comment on Facebook about the government being keen on Kindles for schools… I paused to think about Emily’s use of technology. My parents have had decades to get used to the idea that I’m more technologically proficient than them, but I’m still coming to terms with the fact that my hand-wavy daughter that will giggle for minutes at a bouncing pink rabbit will, in all likelihood, supersede me for technology proficiency â€“ and (if there was a chance Amanda would allow it, which she wonâ€™t) grow up reading eBooks.
The economics of eBooks, VAT issue notwithstanding, makes them ludicrously compelling for schools. Textbooks are expensive, in tediously short supply, subject to loss, damage, graffiti and the like. Desk-embedded eBook readers? Well, a little more resilient, one would hope – infinitely cheaper in long-term materials… and a whole new world of opportunity for the education system.
30 years ago, I grew up in a world of scheduled TV programming (my sister and I would argue over watching Transformers vs. My LIttle Pony), of chunky textbooks and even chunkier files when I got to secondary school; where it was a novelty that I typed my essays and at a time when touchscreens were a ludicrously expensive, almost magical novelty. And the Internet? Well, there wasn’t much of that around for a while.
Today, the magic is everywhere, almost mundane (although I still pause to wonder at it). What this means for a kid’s need for instant gratification, I shudder to think (I guess patience will need to be trained in elsewhere).
I’m kind of keeping up with the kids at the moment (although I don’t believe in BBM and I’m not as obsessive about Twitter or Foursquare as many), but I have a feeling my days as the tech supremo of the household are numbered.