January 18, 2022

Kids and eBooks: "Bringing Up an E-Reader"

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.


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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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.