Last November, the 13th International Congress of Educating Cities (IAEC) was held in Barcelona. The central theme behind the event was the idea that cities shared some of the responsibility for educating people, above all children and teenagers, taking a broader view that extends far beyond school. Last November, the 13th International Congress of Educating Cities (IAEC) was held in Barcelona. The central theme behind the event was the idea that cities shared some of the responsibility for educating people, above all children and teenagers, taking a broader view that extends far beyond school.
At Boolino we put the spotlight on encouraging reading in the family environment as we believe that improving reading skills has a direct impact on a child’s development at school and in general.
That is why we would like to take this opportunity to remark upon this congress’s broader view of education to express our thoughts on reading. We believe that this is a habit which can be encouraged in families through an attitude that instills a love of books, with parents and children working together to bring about a genuine interest in it and disassociating it from any concept of obligation or duty.
As stated in the Charter of Educating Cities, a city educates insofar as it understands that a child’s learning occurs in all areas of his/her life. Antònia Hernàndez, director of the congress, recently declared that "the aim is to show that education doesn’t only happen at school, in one way or another, we as citizens come together to form a big education system, by living together and interrelating, by sharing spaces and conversations".
This being so, a city that thinks about the education of its citizens must consider reading to be one of the key elements that have to be improved. Access to information and communications technology can greatly facilitate this development.
While one of our main objectives at Boolino is to improve reading skills because of all of the positive consequences that brings with it, it is also because it enables critical thinking and a capacity for discernment in an age of information overload when there are no filters to select such information in a critical manner.
It is for this reason that Boolino wants to establish itself as a space for recommendations and dialogue, to help people to invest in the education of their children. This desire and objective are due to the positive impact that reading has at school and in the lives of children. Offering a search engine that incorporates big data technology not only encourages proactivity among parents in their active search for reading materials and games for their children, at the same time it can serve as a system to recommend books, giving users – parents – the chance to have a custom filter based on their search and browsing preferences.
We also want to effectively continue with the push to develop education to ensure that there is a positive fusion and feedback between formal education and family life. We want to educate children through reading and its related activities, and to help parents by raising awareness about the importance of their role and their task as the main actors to instill their love of books in their children.
Emilio Lledó, the winner of the 2014 National Prize for Spanish Literature, recently said that "education comes from freedom and freedom is taught through dialogue, from open dialogue with others and, above all, with books. Reading is the finest example of freedom of intelligence, of thought. To read is to be free, it allows us to leave ourselves, our little world, and open ourselves up to a new universe".