Reading With Technology Is Fundamental

Kids_with_tablets

For it’s 45th anniversary, the non-profit organization, Reading is Fundamental (a.k.a. RIF) came out with a new logo and brand this past November.

RIF’s vision is “a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading.”

Their new logo–can be seen in comparison to the prior version at Brand New–and is supposed to re-energize RIF, which according to its own press release has lost its public awareness and almost $25 million in Congressional funding.

While the logo is bolder with the yellow and blue and a more rounded and open book, I think that RIF has really missed the mark here in terms of being contemporary and in tune with the times.

Most kids, like their adult mentors, are doing more and more reading not in traditional paper books, but rather online and through mobile applications.

Whether using tablet readers like the iPad, Nook, or Kindle Fire or just going online and surfing the Internet for news, information, research and more, technology is changing the way we read.

At a time when the largest book stores are closing down–Borders is already gone and Barnes and Nobles is experiencing financial problems as well, and the publishing industry is in trouble and continuing to lose subscribers and ad dollars, the shift to technology is jarring.

While RIF does mention in their press release–4 bullets in–that they want to increase mobile applications to “create mobile literacy experiences for children and families to enjoy while on the go,” RIF is definitely missing the bigger picture here–which is that reading is moving to technology platforms and is not just just another supplemental vehicle for people anymore.

On their site store, RIF sells monogrammed iPhone and iPad cases, but why not actual computers, book readers, and learning software–perhaps donated, recycled, or even subsidized models for families in need.

Additionally, RIF can become more environmentally-friendly by promoting use of energy-efficient technology and reusing, recycling, and reducing thereby helping us move toward a more efficient, thrifty, and paperless society.

Don’t get me wrong, I love books, newspapers, and magazines, but the time that I spend with a hardcopy in my hands these days, is maybe 20% of the time that I am reading and writing online.

To serve American families in driving literacy, RIF firsts needs to be relevant and another book logo just doesn’t get them where they need to be technologically and environmentally.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Michael Monello)

Human Evolution, Right Before Our Eyes

Watching how this toddler interacts with an iPad and is then frustrated by plain-old magazines is comical, but also a poignant commentary on our times.
Media that doesn’t move, drill down, pop up, connect us, and otherwise interact with the end-user is seen here as frustrating and dated.
This speaks volumes about where our children and grandchildren are headed with technology adoption and then hopefully “taking it to the next level” and the next!
At the same time, this obviously does not bode well for the legacy paper and magazine publishing industry.
It can be difficult to see things changing so dramatically before our very eyes, but with every doors that closes, there us another one that opens.
And so with technology and with life itself, “to everything there is a time and a purpose under the heaven.”