Kids and eBooks: “Bringing Up an E-Reader”

Posted on March 29, 2012 by


From The NY Times:

Amid the excitement and enthusiasm, some people are suggesting a closer look, especially for younger children learning to read. “Right now, the state-of-the-art, in terms of research-based practice is: read traditional books with your child,” said Julia Parish-Morris, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied e-books and how children interact with them. “We don’t have any evidence that any kind of electronic device is better than a parent.”

In an attempt to figure out whether parents should embrace e-books with great enthusiasm or ration e-reader screen time as they do TV time, Julianna’s class is participating in a research project for the Center for Literacy at the University of Akron.

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Lisa Guernsey, director of the early education initiative at the New America Foundation, says conversations about how events of a story relate to the child’s own life, or asking open-ended questions about what happened, are examples of spontaneous dialogue. But this kind of interaction is often different with e-books, she said, and in some cases, disappears.

“We are seeing some evidence that parents expect the e-books to do it all and are stepping back from the engagement with their children,” she said.

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Posted in: Books, E-Books, Education