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Is Children’s Literature Changing to Multimedia?

By Lance Winslow

Children’s literature is so important, but it is also changing, and as parents we have to mitigate those changes and what they mean for our children’s future. There are lessons garnered and truly must be understood for our children to do well in life without making the same mistakes which were so easily described within those texts. Children get a fundamental understanding of life, human interaction, and an introduction to psychology by reading literature designed for children.

Often it can start from reading bedtime stories to kids, then once they can read giving them literature to literally devour. Now then, in this article I would like to discuss with you something else, I would like to have a dialogue about the future of children’s literature and how it is changing. You see, I believe it is changing quite quickly, and with the shortened attention spans the children must be entertained as they may not sit down with a book for hours on end or ever completely read it from cover to cover. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that much of the literature is now changing to multimedia.file5131239156112

Even the Harry Potter series is now available in multimedia, in the e-book format. This is the way of the future, and we are not going to be able to stop that. Especially as each adult is now carrying around an iPad or tablet computer. The kids will be doing the same thing, and mimicking their parents. If you are reading from the newspaper, chances are eventually your kids will read from the newspaper at the kitchen table. If you are getting your information online and on your tablet, then that’s what your kids will do.

Of course, as things become more interactive and multimedia is used more to deliver content, it will indeed be woven into the fabric of all the future children’s literature, in fact in all literature from here on out, even the old classics. High school students just don’t have the attention span anymore to sit down and read a whole book because their friends keep text messaging them every 5 minutes. The only way to keep them entertained and interested enough to turn off their smart phone is to introduce multimedia into the works.

Perhaps you can understand that there is probably no other way, these little personal tech devices have now invaded our space, and our children are growing up in a time when there has always been an Internet, always been personal tech devices, and where books are probably better off in a Museum. Not long ago, a friend brought over their kids, they looked at all the bookshelves I have and they asked me; “why do you have so many books,” and to them this was a legitimate question and rightfully so.

In their future life they won’t even have textbooks in school, it will all be on a tablet. And those textbooks will be multimedia, so will the books that they end up writing in the future, or the reports they write for school. So will everything. People who write e-books without multimedia won’t be able to compete with those that do. This will trickle all the way down to children’s literature as well. You can bet on it.

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In fact, just the other day there was an article the Wall Street Journal on September 10, 2012, on the front page talking about how Toys “R” Us was entering the personal tech tablet market with a fully functional digital e-reader tablet for children. It was a toy; it had games, interactivity, capacity for e-books, and the ability to search things online with proper parenteral control features. The future is here, it is apparent you need to adapt, and understand that.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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