Technology Books for Children

A Secondary Teacher's Journey with Reading for Pleasure on Tech Topics

Research suggests that Reading for Pleasure can boost comprehension, vocabulary and attainment, so it was interesting to start thinking about how we promote reading around technology in secondary schools. 

The obvious place to start was in our school library to see what titles we had to offer.  Beyond the expected revision books I was only able to find a dated, non-fiction book explaining different types of technology which was aimed at secondary students.

This left me a bit perplexed.  When I visited an English classroom recently it was interesting to see a shelf with a range of books related to the English curriculum – sadly there was no technology offering!  I then wondered, could there be a correlation between the lack of books in the library with the speed at which technology changes?  Books specifically on technology can soon be outdated, who is responsible for checking what’s available and keeping the books available and up to date?

As someone who doesn’t enjoy reading fiction, I was particularly interested in the non-fiction, technology offering available to the teenage audience.   Lots of websites have a technology section, many with up to date articles regarding the news or recent technology, but often this isn’t aimed at our audience, additionally those sites aimed at our audience don’t have a specific technology section or offer video content.  A quick search of a well-known book shop produced a range of non-fiction technology books but how many teenagers are browsing their website or visiting that shop?  So how do we raise the profile of this content? 

Budding Computer Scientist Poster William Lau - Technology Books for Children

As I wrote this article, I have also developed a great display in my classroom, on Books for Budding Computer Scientists, a range of fiction, non-fiction and programming books for all ages up to 18, it’s bright, colourful and has an eye-catching Mario theme.  It is based upon the work of William Lau.  It is a great reference point for me and something that attracts the attention of many students.  Clearly, Technology Books for Children was much needed.  There however, do lie other issues, such as ensuring that the books are diverse and inclusive.

Whilst sometimes not in the main spotlight, non-fiction, technology books are available, but how we raise the profile and make them explicit in the teenage world is a far greater challenge.  The world can never have enough books so there’s definitely room for more of this type of content for the teenage audience and more research to be undertaken about how appealing this content is for a range of audiences, especially girls. There’s also a place for role models/celebrities to be promoting this content on teenagers favoured platforms, it would be great to see them promoting reading about technology for pleasure just like we saw Will.i.am promote coding.

This article has been written by

Jayne Fenton Hall

Jayne is Head of Department at a Secondary School in Surrey, England

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