Lauren De Groot of Xavier College in Ballina looking at some of the books on sale at the writers’ festival.
Lauren De Groot of Xavier College in Ballina looking at some of the books on sale at the writers’ festival.

Students pick book over iPad

FOR traditionalists worried about the future of the printed book they need look no further to have those fears allayed than the 100 or so high school students at a session at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.

During a session on socialmedia, students were asked to raise their hands if they preferred to read a printed book rather than one on an iPad.

Woodlawn student Sara Pascoe later explained why all but a handful raised their hands high.

“There is something about reading a book; I reckon they will be around in 200 years time,” she said.

“There is also the health aspect. It's bad for your eyes reading on the screen.”

Interestingly, she confessed that her grandmother, a former librarian, had an iPad and read books on it, but the teenager said it wasn't for her.

The future of the printed book was discussed during a session on tweeting, blogging, Facebook, Kindle, iPad and where to next.

ABC journalist Jeanti St Clair gave the predominately high school student audience a brief rundown on the increasing reach of social media, in particular Facebook, while comedian Tim Ferguson spoke about how it openedopportunities for generation Y.

“You lucky, lucky so and so's – it doesn't matter if you live in Australia any more.

“You can just Skype your producer,” he said.

Sara said she found the panellists both inspiring and accessible.

“It was a really good session,” she said. “I went to a political one in the morning but a lot of it went over my head.

“This one was much better. They were speaking on our level. We all use Facebook and it was good to discuss it in a funny way.”

And for the Gen Xs and Baby Boomers in the audience the questions were both enlightening and re-assuring.

There were questions aboutmedia reports that overuse of Google reduced memory retention, the implications for privacy, particularly coming after the World of the News scandal, and whether young people were using the anonymity provided by social media to be over critical of others.



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