Screen vs physical books: parents modeling reading
September 7, 2014 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Looking for writing (books, articles, blog posts, etc) about parents reading on screens instead of in physical books, and how that might impact kids' impressions of reading

CONTEXT: I am a speech language pathologist in early intervention. One of the things I work on is early literacy skills, and one of these "skills" I sometimes talk with parents about is making sure that you, the parent, model reading for both information and enjoyment.

One of my parents commented that she loves to read, but almost excluseively reads on her kindle or iphone these days. We talked about how that's probably typical of a lot of parents, and she expressed some anxiety about modeling screen time, as opposed to reading.

I've been thinking about this, and wondering if there has been anything written about this changing "action" of reading. I know it's too early for there to be any research--just wondering if other parents or educators have written about this in a less formal way--articles, blog posts, etc. If there's something geared for older kids, that's okay.

(I am not looking for information about babies/toddlers looking at screens--I know that's pretty well covered).
posted by Ideal Impulse to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This article describes a study that looked at, other other things, whether a parent's reading habits were linked to a child's pre-literacy skills. The study found that parents who read on their own tend to read to their children more and do have a positive impact on their children's skills, but the type of reading they do does not seem to matter. Here is a relevant quote:

"Parents were first asked about their “reading profiles”: how often they engaged with traditional written materials, new technology (electronic), and environmental materials such as shopping lists, manuals, and recipes. However, parents’ preferences for different types of materials did not appear to matter. There was no significant relationship between their reading profile and their children’s performance on the various literacy tasks."
posted by TrarNoir at 12:27 PM on September 7, 2014

This isn't exactly what you're looking for but this article from Scientific American talks about how comprehension changes reading on a screen vs a paper book. It doesn't really speak to the modelling reading factor, but it makes me think twice about buying books for my kid's Kindle vs. buying the hard copy. I notice that for myself, it is definitely harder to find information that I have read on the Kindle. I bought a Kindle textbook and like the article mentions, there are no physical "markers" on a Kindle so it's just harder to find the info I want. I also notice that when it comes to re-reading books, my child is much more likely to pick up a physical book and read it from the middle or look for favorite parts than the Kindle.
posted by biscuits at 2:33 PM on September 7, 2014

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