How Parents and Children Interact with Digital Books

A TOUCH TO FORGET: Do you remember more of what you read when the pictures on the page really jump out at you? The Joan Ganz Cooney Center released a small study on how parents and children (ages 3 to 6 years) interact while reading print and ebooks--as well as how much they retained. They looked at both basic and enhanced e-books (those loaded with multimedia components). They found that children reading enhanced versions "recalled significantly fewer narrative details" than those who read the print version. Worse: parents seemed to spend more time disciplining them, too. ("Stop touching that!") The majority of the 32 parent-child pairs participating reported being just as engaged reading the old-fashioned books as either of the e-books, suggesting that bells and whistles don't always tickle the mind. Full report here (PDF).

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