Page 4 - May 2015
P. 4



                                                                                          ... by Ron Prosser (9405)

New literacy technology in schools is a concern
for the future of printed books.

             HEN I STARTED SCHOOL seventy         Padded upright chairs around state of the
             five years ago I was given a ‘slate’  art wooden tables complete with i-pads for
             to write and draw on. This was       each posiƟon and around the perimeter of
a black slate about A4 size bordered with a       the room, computer staƟons complete with
wooden frame. I was also given a thin piece       the latest computers all connected to the
of slate ‘pencil’ but I had to supply my own      internet and the school’s intranet.
Ɵn to hold a liƩle piece of damp sponge with
which to clean my slate. I remember it well.         But this was a library and where were
   Recently when I aƩended the local High         the books? Oh yes, there were a few racks
School with which I am involved, I discov-        of books but gone were the mulƟplicity of
ered that the circle had been completed           shelves and book cases that used to furnish
having gone from slates through exercise          the old library. What was going on?
books with lines to show where the ascend-
ers and descenders in hand wriƟng should             I didn’t have to wait long for the
stop, squared paper note books, computers         explanaƟon. The school had bought into a
and so on, I discovered that pupils now have      system of e-books provided by RMBooks and
miniature ‘White Boards’, about the same          a demonstraƟon was about to begin.
size as my slate so that when they know the
answer to the teacher’s quesƟon, they write          Each pupil can now log on to the school’s
their answers on the white boards and hold        intranet library, using either the i-pads or
them up for the teacher to see just as we did     the computers and ‘borrow’ a book for a
with our slates. I was flabbergasted.              period of Ɵme to suit their needs. At the
   But my flabbergasƟng didn’t stop there.         end of the agreed Ɵme the e-book is then
The school has just refurbished their old         withdrawn and put back into the school’s
library into an impressive up-to-date             library. No overdue books or taƩy, dirty
facility, the opening of which I was invited      pages to contend with.
to aƩend. Modern, modular, upholstered
chairs fiƩed nicely into a semi-circle around         Pupils can also ‘borrow’ books when
a large television on the wall with each          at home, using their own computers,
student having blue-tooth earphones.              tablets, mobile phones, etc. giving them a
                                                  wonderful and easy access to the schools
                                                  comprehensive e-library.

                                                     On commencement of the system,
                                                  RMBooks supplied—free of charge—very
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