New ways to encourage reading

We can encourage children’s reading to reflect today’s world of new information and communication technologies.

New digital technologies have brought exciting opportunities for children of all ages, and digital books can be downloaded from apps onto computers and tablets.

Exciting apps can stimulate parent and child interactivity in online reading and book sharing. However, not everyone recognises the benefits of these new technologies and some parents have concerns that their child is spending too much time on a computer rather than reading a traditional book.

There is evidence, however, that digital books provide alternative ways of interacting and engaging children, parents and teachers although this is mixed in relation to the role that digital books can play in literacy development.

Digital books don’t always have the richness of vocabulary and grammar of print books, and parents don’t use as many helpful reading strategies while sharing digital books but concentrate more on IT skills. Nevertheless, they provide an exciting alternative way of interacting and engaging readers, teachers and parents. See, for example:

If you are interested in the debates about children and digital technologies and whether they are a good or a bad thing, you might like to enrol on Childhood in the Digital Age, a free Open University module on FutureLearn.

2 Moving from the early years to primary

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