Recent Study Shows That Kids Want to Read Digitally
Scholastic, publishers of the popular Harry Potter series, recently conducted a study comprised of more than 2,000 children ages 6-17 and their parents which explored the attitudes and behaviors of kids and parents towards reading for fun in a highly digital age.
Almost 60% of the children surveyed expressed an interest in reading on a digital device such as an e-reader or computer. In fact, the majority of those surveyed said they would read for fun much more frequently “if they could obtain e-books.”
Parents and teachers have long been wary of the use of digital devices like video games, computers and cell phones and the distractions and effects they can have on children who use them frequently. However, over 80% of the parents surveyed said that they would be willing to let their children use e-readers.
Many are beginning to see the potential of using these types of technology to their advantage and Scholastic’s chief academic officer, Francie Alexander, is calling the study a “call to action.”
Referring to computer, e-readers, and other digital devices that can download books, Ms. Alexander said, “I didn’t realize how quickly kids had embraced this technology. Clearly they see them as tools for reading – not just gaming, not just texting. They see them as an opportunity to read.”
The hope, then, is that children can utilize these fun and interactive digital tools not just for gaming and texting, but for reading and other educational endeavors. Milton Chen, a senior fellow at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, says that the study clearly shows that children want to read on “new digital platforms.”
Says Mr. Chen, “the very same device that is used for socializing and texting and staying in touch with their friends can also be turned for another purpose. That’s the hope.”