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Reading is now 'cool': a study of English teachers' perspectives on e-reading devices as a challenge and an opportunity

Goodwyn, A. (2013) Reading is now 'cool': a study of English teachers' perspectives on e-reading devices as a challenge and an opportunity. Educational Review, 66 (3). pp. 263-275. ISSN 1465-3397

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2013.768960


E-reading devices such as The Kindle have rapidly secured a significant place in a number of societies as at least one major platform for reading. To some extent they are part of the overarching move towards a fully digitised world but they have a distinctiveness in being deliberately “book-like”. Teachers generally have some suspicion towards “New Media”, especially when it challenges their established practice and nothing dominates the school more than the physical book. What may be the challenges but also the benefits of e-readers to teachers and students? What may be the particular challenges to those teachers who are, traditionally, the guardians of the book, that is the teachers of mother tongue literature? This article reports on a survey of English teachers in England to gauge their reactions to e-readers, both personally and professionally and describes their speculations about the place of e-readers in schools in the future. There is a mixed reaction with some teachers concerned about the demise of the book and the potential negative impact on reading. However, the majority welcome e-readers as a dynamic element within the reading environment with particular potential to enthuse reluctant readers and those with special or linguistic needs. They also, some grudgingly, view the fact that reading using this form of technology appeals to the “e-generation” and may succeed in making reading “cool”. This form of technology is, ironically (given that it appears to threaten traditional books) likely to be rapidly adopted in classrooms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:30600

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