Reading Progress In Children Hindered By E-Books And Kindles

The number of young digital readers has doubled in recent years, which means in time there may be a generation of kids who will avoid picking up a “real” book altogether in favor of screen devices.

Although the conveniences of e-readers, iPads, and Kindles permit for reading various genres of e-books, comics, and magazines on the go without the physical bulk, research suggests that children who turn away from traditional books in favor of reading electronically may be slightly hindering their educational progress.

A record number of youths have abandoned the traditional method of reading from printed material for electronic devices, but according to research performed by the National Literacy Trust (UK) – an independent charity that promotes literary – using iPads, Kindles, and other e-readers could be potentially detrimental to their [children] reading ability in terms of comprehension, retention, and pleasure. These skills are essential for prolonged success in school and eventual employment.

Nearly 35,000 preteens and teenagers between 8 and 16 were surveyed. It was found males preferred reading magazines, newspapers, and books from a screen in lieu of print, and rarely engaged in reading a physical newspaper outside of school. Over 40 percent of kids retrieved their news from a computer, 35.5 percent from their smartphones, and nearly a third got their news from a tablet.

Researchers determined children – with ever-developing minds – who exclusively read from electronic devices on a daily basis were significantly less likely to be considered strong readers and were four times less likely to enjoy the practice of reading or having a favorite book. Those who read print were twice as likely to be above average readers as children who read electronically; 26 percent as opposed to 15.5 percent.

Jonathan Douglas, National Literacy Trust’s director, said, “Our research confirms that technology is playing a central role in young people’s literacy development and reading choice. While we welcome the positive impact which technology has on bringing further reading opportunities to young people, it’s crucial that reading in print is not cast aside.” Suggesting instead, people should have a healthier balance between using both regular text materials along with technological devices.

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