According to an article at the BBC, children may be teaching themselves to read in the near future with the help of technology.
MagicTown is a “world that unites books and gameplay,” designed for children on the web and the iPad, that is trying to preserve the tradition of storytelling for a future in which the outlook for physical books isn’t great. MagicTown’s “Livebooks” can be read aloud with parents, narrated automatically, or explored interactively.
Even in the web age, stories maintain their power said David Begg, chief executive officer and co-founder.
“Story is the best medium to teach children. From the village elder importing stories from generation to generation, it is how people learn about emotions, morals and the structure of society,” he said.
In Magic Town the village elder is a lion called Louis who will tell different stories to children daily.
A more experimental approach, along with assistance from MIT, is being taken by Sugata Mitra in India to teach children to read on their own:
The model of children learning alongside adults is thought to be the ideal, but in parts of the world with low literacy rates it is simply not possible.
In such places, the screen may take the place of a parent or teacher.
Prof Sugata Mitra, whose “hole-in-the-wall” terminals offered children living in the slums of India their first experience of computers.
“The field reports so far are exciting. Children are starting to read already,” said Prof Mitra.