BookTrust published some disturbing research this week, showing that a quarter of parents now use technology to give their children a bedtime story. Of the 1,000 parents surveyed, 65% revealed that they give their children time on phones, tablets, YouTube or television, instead of enjoying a bedtime story together. When asked the reason why, parents cited work commitments, commuting or just feeling too busy. To help highlight the importance of reading together, BookTrust is running a nationwide campaign called Pyjamarama on the 7th June. (Wear your pyjamas for the day, donate £1 and celebrate a bedtime story)
Here, in the Curriculum Centre, we have recently added some new children’s books to our collection, that refer to the prominent role of technology and social media in people’s lives. These resources could be used to introduce a discussion or debate about technology and social media in the classroom.
The Lost Book by Margarita Surnaite
In this picture book story, Henry cannot understand everybody’s love of books, until he finds “The Lost Book” which leads him on a special adventure. However, everybody he meets on his adventure is absorbed with their phone or electronic device, making him feel quite lost. However, there is a happy ending, as a young girl notices Henry and approaches him.
Margarita Surnaite felt inspired to write this story, after noticing how people were so preoccupied with technology and missing out on what was happening in real life.
The Disconnect by Keren David
(for ages 11+)
Esther’s year group have been challenged to disconnect from their phones for a whole 6 weeks. That’s 6 weeks without sharing photos, group messages and being kept in the social-media loop. Esther relies on her phone to keep in touch with her Dad and sister who live in New York. But if she won the challenge, she would be able to pay for a trip to go and see them in person. This is a great short story which considers both the pros and cons of technology.
Goldilocks : a Hashtag Cautionary Tale by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross
Goldilocks loves sharing photos and videos on her mobile phone. In an effort to keep up her number of likes and hits, she takes a selfie of herself breaking into a home, posts about eating porridge and records herself breaking a chair, before falling asleep. And yes, as you’ve guessed it all ends rather badly for her.
Red and the City by Maria Voigt
Red travels through the city on her way to visit Grandma, but she gets distracted by what it has to offer. Some of the dark scenes of the city, depict everyone with their heads down, focused on their phones and electronic devices and completely unaware as to what is happening around them.
If you have a favourite children’s book that refers to social media/mobile phones/technology, please let us know.