Is there a difference in how much a child understands and retains a story depending on the format of the book they share? You may be surprised by recent findings, or maybe not. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE]
Researchers at the A Cooney Center [ CLICK TO LINK],QuickReport by Cynthia Chiong, Jinny Ree, Lori Takeuchi, and Ingrid Erickson have completed a study to find out using "three book formats: print books, basic e-books, and enhanced e-books." investigating three issues:
1. Parent-Child Conversation
2. Story Comprehension and
FINDINGS: CLICK THIS LINK TO OPEN Report
1. The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading because it prompted more non-content related interactions. When adults prompt children with questions pertaining to the text, label objects, and encourage them to discuss the book contents in terms of their own experiences and curiosities, this elicits increased verbalization by the child and can lead to improved vocabulary and overall language development.
2. Features of the enhanced e-book may have affected children’s story recall because both parents and children focused their attention on non-content, more than story-related, issues.
3. The print books were more advantageous for literacy building co-reading, (BUT)...the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, were more advantageous for engaging children and prompting physical interaction.
The study leads to recommendations:
1. For designers: Exercise caution when adding features to enhanced e-books, especially when those features do not directly relate to the story. E-book enhancements should also be designed in a way that allows parents to access and control settings to customize the co-reading experience with their children.
2. For parents and educators: Parents and preschool teachers should choose print or basic e-books to read with children if they want to prioritize literacy-building experiences over ones intended “just for fun.” Some of the extra features of enhanced e-books may distract adults and children alike from the story, affecting the nature of conversation and the amount of detail children recall. However, given that appeal is an essential building block for early literacy development, enhanced e-books may be valued for their ability to prompt less motivated young readers toward engagement when they might otherwise avoid text altogether.