View Full Version : Enhanced ebooks are bad for children, study finds.

06-07-2012, 07:52 PM

First, to clarify: "bad" here means that the children are not absorbing as much information from the story as they would from the non-enhanced versions of the books.

"The enhanced ebook prompted more non-content related actions (eg behaviour or device-focused talk, pushing hands away) from children and parents than the print books," found Cynthia Chiong, Jinny Ree, Lori Takeuchi and Ingrid Erickson in their study. "The enhanced ebook was less effective than the print and basic ebook 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 verbalisation by the child and can lead to improved vocabulary and overall language development."

Children reading enhanced ebooks also "recalled significantly fewer narrative details than children who read the print version of the same story", said the researchers, speculating that the extra features may be distracting. But while "print books were more advantageous for literacy building co-reading", ebooks, and particularly enhanced ebooks, were better "for engaging children and prompting physical interaction".

Very interesting.

While I don't think this makes the case that enhanced ebooks themselves are bad for children, it does show that enhanced ebooks are not as effective at developing literacy, encouraging children to engage with literature, etc.

06-07-2012, 09:29 PM
That is interesting. My kids love the few we have, but they also love regular books too... I'll try quizzing them and see what they remember!