Should ebooks replace real books in a child’s life?

In the NY Times article entitle “Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?” written by Douglas Quenqua, the author investigates the very recent studies being conducted to figure out what benefit and draw backs ebooks have on young children. The content presented had similar conclusions as the sakai reading for class. Many points were raised that for some children, ebooks are not good to use because comprehension declines in comparison to paper books. For example, the enhanced ebooks seem to include too many additional features that take away from the content of the story. In terms of early access to reading, developing comprehension skills is more important than holding a child’s attention. Also, being engaged with a parent while reading is an important feature that does not appear to be necessary when reading from a tablet or iPad. If there is a recorded narration, why would the parent have to sit with the child? These points made in opposition for the use of using ebooks as the primary text in a child’s life do make sense, but there are also added benefits that are helpful feature for enhancing comprehension.

Some ebooks include features that help provide definitions or explanations for unfamiliar vocabulary. Having that as an option while reading is a great addition because the child is always able to go back and reference the definition. The child is able to better understand the story when being bogged down by difficult vocabulary is removed. Also, the company creating the ebook has the ability to develop the pictures to match the print form, so the only difference is needing the table to access the story or not. Turning the narrator off is sometimes an option, allowing for the parent to read the book with the child.

In my opinion, I think the combination of the two are good to use. As long as the parent is present, the child is actively engaging with the text, and benefitting from the reading, I don’t see any problems with using a digital means to access it. Sometimes that could be a cheaper solution for a family of a lower socioeconomic status to provide their children with more books. In the end, it is up to the parent to determine which method seems more beneficial.

Access my story here:


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