21st Century Literacies

Teachers Changing the Way We Read, Write, Think, and Live

The End of Books? (For Me, at Least?)

Could it be? Are books really being considered useless now? Yes, yes they are (cue audience gasp). Yes, that is exactly what Will Richardson is conveying in his book called, Learning on the Blog. Within Part II, in the section titled “The End of Books? For Me, at Least?” Richardson comes to the conclusion that the apps and tools that Kindles have are far more useful than reading from an actual book. Now, you must understand that this was hard for him to admit; this comes from a man who claims he “loves book” and has over 1,000 of them in his home! He owns books in every fiction and says that “life feels better when I’m surrounded by books.” Also, it is not every day that a man of his professionalism and stature makes a statement like this when referring to the advantages of a Kindle: “I know others might not find this earth shattering, but this is a pretty heady shift for me right now, one that is definitely disrupting my worldview.”

Richardson talks about his first time using a Kindle to read a book. He downloaded the app about a year ago and was immediately su
rprised with how well it worked for him. One of the more simple tools a Kindle has is that it does not display page numbers that are accurate to the original novel. This is mostly seen as a disadvantage (check this blog about how the Kindle has decreased in value for one user), but it could also be considered an unconscious advantage. Kindles are one of the many different media devices we can utilize in our classroom because of the simplicity that comes with it. The text can be adjusted for different types of vision, the back light can be adjusted to whatever setting you are in, and when you turn the Kindle back on you are right back on the page where you left off. No more folding the corners of the page or using a book mark, those days are behind us and we probably won’t ever look back.

These types of advances in technology would be the perfect tool for students to take advantage of because they can jump start interest and motivation because of the similarity to using digital devices every day.  


According to Richardson, the Kindle is a “Game. Changer” because of what the Kindle can do for active readers. He wasn’t even sure what the Kindle could do until he used another great social media device to take advantage of, Twitter. Both of these devices can be held in your hand and can help you explore new pathways into digital literacy


Will Richardson is a man of great knowledge and literacy, someone who respects the past of English just as much as he owns it, but even he believes that this new technology is something that could help kick start the movement towards digital literacy. There is already so much anticipation for what is to come as there are plenty of great inventions and additions to new media technology. He simply writes: “I’m sure I’ll be reflecting on it more as it all plays out.” He is not alone. Kindles are just the beginning of social devices becoming educational; apps will soon take the place of books, papers, and pens. This movement is for the better because there is no reason for the classroom to not correspond with the real world, where digital literacy is needed to become successful.

Views: 6

Comment by Erica Guja on May 7, 2013 at 10:47pm


I really enjoyed this post. I thought you added a very fun and enthusiastic approach to something that may be somewhat obvious or known to others. I completely agree with the points you made and thing the way you defended Will Richardson in a beautiful way. I also thought the quotes you pulled were relevant and you incorporated them in this post very effectively. Overall, great work!


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