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Has technology changed the way we read?

"Technology by itself is not transformative. It is school, reading, pedagogy, it is what is transformative" Tanya Byron

We must take an innovative and attractive position for the youth of tomorrow

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As our society becomes more digital, people are constantly abandoning paper books to read on their devices. This means that, in many cases, we spend much less time reading than before. However, it also means that technology can become an ally of reading and offer new ways of reading and publishing stories.

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The Internet's ability to connect people and create community has influenced the way we consume books. In recent years, several online platforms have emerged where authors can publish and share their writing with others. Wattpad is one such platform that connects with more than 80 million writers and readers around the world, as advertised on its website.

Users of this app can both write and post their own stories and read those of other users. Through a search engine with filters, they can choose between thousands of titles and twenty genres.

Wattpad is a platform that allows young writers to express their creativity and share it with the world. It is a place where you can get feedback from other users, which can help you improve your writing skills.

As a result, many young writers have posted on Wattpad and are now among the top sellers in their genres. This is the case of Anna Todd with the After series, which after being published on paper and reaching number one on The New York Times bestseller list, has also seen her novels adapted to the cinema.

Wattpad has been a great platform for writers, editors, and readers alike.

However, he also faces criticism from all three groups: writers claim his works are poorly edited; publishers say they have to compete with free content and are not paid enough; readers complain about the large number of errors found in the texts or that some works are no longer free.

One of the biggest drawbacks is that due to the large number of published works, Wattpad does not apply a previous filter to check if there are plagiarized or copyrighted works. It is you, as a user, who must report any violation if you find it.

The same problem exists in terms of form and presentation: the number of works is so large that the platform does not take care of editing the texts to guarantee a minimum of correction. Therefore, some texts contain errors or misspellings.

The digital age brings with it greater challenges

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The world of literature is being affected by four powerful forces: the use of computerized media for the preservation and editing of literary texts, the development of multimedia digital literature, the new postulates of literature, which open new ways of reading, and the need for the didactics of literature to guide its approaches towards methodologies that promote teaching with digital media.

  • The first change is a consequence of the development of technology. It has become possible to preserve and edit literary texts with computer support, which has made it possible to develop digital archives containing thousands of books in one place.

  • The second change has been brought about by the development of digital multimedia literature. This type of literature allows readers to interact with the characters or authors in a very active way through the use of different technologies available today (such as augmented reality).

  • The third change is related to the new assumptions about what constitutes literature. These postulates open up new ways of reading and writing texts because they allow us to explore other forms and genres that were not previously considered part of our literary tradition.

  • Finally, it is urgent that the didactics of literature orient its approaches towards methodologies that promote teaching with digital media; this will help us continue to produce good writers who know how to tell stories differently than those who came before.

Today we are more convinced than ever that the literatures of the future will be hypertextual or they will not be. Electronic support is not in itself a guarantee of historical, literary, critical or didactic innovation, we know that. In fact, there are too many digital pages that are just that: digitization of content. This is not enough. The novelty will be in the conceptual model with which we make the resources and materials work, in the cognitive system that we intend to activate. We are at the beginning of this transformation. We know who the pioneers are, but the creation of firm models in all fields is still missing.

Hypertext is a concept associated with computing. It refers to the system that allows text fragments to be linked together, allowing the user to access information through related items instead of doing it sequentially. For example: Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar.

The Internet has been a great ally of culture because it has allowed us to create new ways of accessing information and knowledge. It has also created other ways to spread that knowledge and make it available to everyone through different channels such as blogs or social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

The phenomenon of "bookinfluencers" or "booktubers" continues to grow as a response to literature and social networks

In a world where we can meet anywhere on the planet and connect with others across borders, it's no wonder books are being shared online.

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Social networks can turn users into protagonists of their environment. Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok or Twitter are more than just communication channels: sometimes users create rituals that seek identification with their peers, participation in common beliefs, interests and desires.

Reading is no stranger to these moments of common virtual participation. Adolescents, young people and adults use blogs, social networks or audiovisual channels to share their readings, to find their own voice through the readings they enjoy.

As we read from the screen, we share snippets on Twitter or open a thread with comments or screenshots of the text. We can also put ourselves in front of the camera to give our opinion about the book and post the video on YouTube, in an Instagram story or in a Twitter feed. We announce a live broadcast to talk, share, create or feel in front of anyone in the virtual world.

Literature has long been a mainstay of education. It provides young people with a wealth of information and knowledge that they can use in their personal and professional lives. But as the world changes, so does the way we educate our children.

The Internet offers endless opportunities for young people to learn new things and connect with other students from around the world. This innovative phenomenon has been adapted by those who maintain the tradition: schools or libraries carry out successful activities imitating the "booktubers" format to promote reading. From these areas a great effort is made to encourage young people to activate their presence on the Internet, to create a profile, a brand that serves as an example and model of good practices.

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