Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Print versus digital books research

 "While a recent study concluded that paper books yielded better comprehension than e-books when many of the digital tools had been removed, the effect sizes were small. A 2021 meta-analysis further muddies the water: When digital and paper books are “mostly similar,” kids comprehend the print version more readily—but when enhancements like motion and sound “target the story content,” e-books generally have the edge. There’s plenty of evidence that writing with pen and paper encodes learning more deeply than typing. But new digital book formats come preloaded with powerful tools that allow readers to annotate, look up words, answer embedded questions, and share their thinking with other readers." (excerpted from Eutopia)

Furenes, M. I., Kucirkova, N., & Bus, A. G. (2021). A Comparison of Children’s Reading on Paper Versus Screen: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research91(4), 483–517.

Race and gender in children's books research

 Using artificial intelligence, researchers combed through 1,130 children’s books written in the last century, comparing two sets of diverse children’s books—one a collection of popular books that garnered major literary awards, the other favored by identity-based awards. The software analyzed data on skin tone, race, age, and gender. Among the findings: While more characters with darker skin color begin to appear over time, the most popular books—those most frequently checked out of libraries and lining classroom bookshelves—continue to depict people of color in lighter skin tones. More insidiously, when adult characters are “moral or upstanding,” their skin color tends to appear lighter. (excerpted from Eutopia)

Adukia, A. et al. (2021). Wajt we teach about race and gender: What  representation in images and text in children's books. Brown University Annenberg Institute.

Friday, December 10, 2021

ebooks versus print books research

"Ebooks have surged in popularity since the pandemic began, however, new research led by Natalia Kucirkova, professor of Early Childhood and Development at the University of Stavanger in Norway and Open University, found that young children were less likely to understand ebooks unless they had effective enhancements. “We found a negative impact of digital books on children’s (ages 1-8) learning when comparing digital and print books, mirroring the results of meta-analyses with adult readers,” Kucirkova says. But her research also demonstrated that when it comes to childhood reading not all digital books are equal. 'Our results are significantly moderated by the design of the tested digital books and may reflect the rather low quality of enhancements in the digital books available for young children.'” (excerpted from Ofgang, Dec. 10, 2021, Tech & Learning)

Furenes, M. I., Kucirkova, N., & Bus, A. G. (2021). A comparison of children’s reading on paper versus screen: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 91(4), 483-517.

And earlier research: Kucirkova, N., & Littleton, K. (2016). The digital reading habits of children. A National Survey of Parents’ Perceptions of and Practices in Relation to Children’s Reading for Pleasure with Print and Digital Books

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Reading habits research

 “The nation’s 13-year-olds are less proficient in math and reading than they were almost a decade ago, according to data collected just before the start of the pandemic…. Nationally, math scores for 13-year-olds fell on average by five points while reading scores declined an average of three points. Nearly 9,000 13-year-olds across 450 schools took the test between October 2019 and December 2019. Along with the test results, the education statistics center also released test takers’ responses to survey questions about their reading habits and coursework. A lower percentage of 13-year-olds reported regularly reading for fun almost every day than the share of students who said they did so a decade ago. And students who say they read more got higher scores.”

NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessment Results: Reading and Mathematics. National Assessment Governing Board. Oct. 2021