Monday, March 22, 2021

Print vs pixel picture book studies

 "A new analysis of all the research on digital picture books, published in March 2021, helps to answer this question. The answer isn’t clear cut: paper generally has an edge over digital but there are exceptions. Digital books can be a better option with nonfiction texts and for building vocabulary. Some digital storybooks were better; researchers found that certain types of story-related extras seemed to boost a child’s comprehension but they were rare. In large part, the research on digital picture books for children echoes what we’ve seen in studies of e-books for adults. Reading comprehension is superior on paper but the benefit of paper appears to be stronger for adults and smaller for children. Scholars think the reasons behind the brain’s preference for paper may be different for the two groups. In the case of adults, it may be a lack of effort that we’re putting into reading on screens. In the case of children, it may be that many of the bells and whistles that are commonly added to digital picture books — buttons to click on, pop ups, games and sounds — are distracting." (J. Barshay, ), March 21, 2021)

Furenes, M., Kucirkova, N., & Bus, A. (March, 2021). A comparison of children's reading on paper versus screen: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research

Friday, March 19, 2021

COVID-19 impact studies

The coronavirus pandemic along with remote instruction are affecting students' academic progress, as well as their overall well-being, according to a CDC study. Of parents surveyed, 25% of those whose children are learning remotely said their children's mental or emotional health had worsened -- compared with 16% of those whose children are learning in person.

Verlenden JV, Pampati S, Rasberry CN, et al. Association of Children’s Mode of School Instruction with Child and Parent Experiences and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic — COVID Experiences Survey, United States, October 8–November 13, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:369–376. DOI:

Oral reading fluency stalled for many second- and third-grade students last spring, according to a study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. found that students currently in second and third grade are now approximately 30% behind what would be expected in a typical year in reading fluency. Additionally, the study found that there was an inequitable impact, with students in historically lower-achieving districts — which often serve a greater share of low-income and minority students — developing reading skills at a slower rate than those in higher-achieving ones. The study adds that these are populations that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic in ways that impinge on their readiness to learn, including lack of access to computers, reliable internet access or a parent at home.

Dominique, B., et al. (2021). Changing patterns of growth in oral reading fluency during the COVID-10 pandemic. PACE.