We are always concerned if children, or students, are reluctant to read. This is not just because reading is enjoyable, it’s also because reading supports all kinds of learning. Children who read often, and who read for enjoyment, learn things more quickly. Being a keen reader gives you an advantage in your education.
How Can Technology Help?
Traditional books are used in classrooms every day and increasingly, so are e-reading devices like Kindles, iPads and others. Recent research has shown that using an e-reader can have a positive effect on children’s willingness to read, and accelerate their reading progress. Boys in particular seem to find e-readers more accessible and enjoyable, making considerable progress over several months.
E-readers are very frequently used in the USA, though in the UK their use is more patchy. Over the past year, the National Literacy Trust has been conducting research to find out whether the e-learning effect is measurable and consistent in primary age children. Does technology really help children to read?
Technology and Readers
The National Literacy Trust found that most children made good progress. In projects lasting about four months, children made between seven and eight months of reading progress. Boys in particular made better progress when e-reading technology was introduced to the classroom. Given the recent concerns over boys’ educational progress, it was impressive to see a 25 per cent increase in the number of boys reading every day, as well as accelerated levels of learning..
Children who said they found reading difficult were encouraged to read by the use of e-books. Many said that the control they had over the font size and screen colour helped them feel confident when reading. It also helped that they saw the tablets as tools for social interactions and games as well as reading.
What Can You Do to Support Your Child?
There are plenty of books available online, and also reading apps like My Word Buddy which aim to give children support when reading independently. Review the app to help children read better and optimise similar future services.
You can find out more about the results of the National Literacy Trust’s research here.
Some people are wary of the use of e-readers, and warn that paperbacks and picture books shouldn’t be phased out. It seems, however, that e-books can play a valuable educational role in our classrooms.