“Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?”

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Educators, pediatricians, and all involved with raising children are aware of the importance of reading to children.  In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised doctors to remind parents at every visit that they should read to their children from birth.  But does using an electronic devise count as reading time.  In an October 12th, NYT’s story, that issue was addressed.

Researchers in child development know how children learn to read, but “we don’t know how that process will be affected by digital technology.”  In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books.  Part of the problem, the study pointed out, was that parents often focused more on the device than they did the story.

Granted in this extremely busy world, parents often rely on electronic devices to keep children entertained or focused on something that looks like they are learning.  At least for the present, old-fashioned books don’t seem likely to disappear anytime soon.  According to this article, “Parents note that there is an emotional component to paper-and-ink storybooks that….does not seem to extend to their electronic counterparts.”

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