Today’s children live in an increasingly digital and global society. These digital natives can intuitively navigate around a smart phone, tablet computer, or iPad. As early childhood educators and curricula creators, we closely evaluate how established and emerging technologies can be used in an age-appropriate manner that supports how a child learns best. More and more research continues to emerge about digital learning, including a new study about reading comprehension and eBooks.
How eBooks measure up on reading comprehension
As published in the Applied Cognitive Psychology journal, researchers assessed the impact of technology on reading comprehension. Under the leadership of Dr. Sara Margolin, the research team split the 90 participants with an average age of 19 into three groups to read 10 passages. One third read the passages on paper, one third read on a Kindle eReader, and one third viewed the passages on a PDF-reader via computer. The passages contained an equal number of non-fiction and fiction excerpts. After reading each passage, participants answered comprehension questions. The research team found no difference in comprehension scores across all three platforms.
English Language Learners and eBooks
While the students in this study were not ELL students, reading comprehension remains a key focus for teaching English to children. As mentioned in a previous blog, “5 Ways to Support English Language Learners,” the number of young ELL students in the United States continues to rise. However, teaching English to children extends beyond the United States as more and more parents understand how teaching a young child a second (or third!) language can help prepare a child for future success.
With ABC English & Me, we use music and movement to teach English to speakers of other languages that meets the TESOL curriculum standards for Pre-K. This beginners program for English Language Learners combines Kindermusik’s decades of experience in early childhood education with the latest research on learning a foreign language. Plus, with Kindermusik@Home, children and parents get the added benefit of using technology, including eBooks and music downloads, in age-appropriate and fun ways that engage the whole family.