The more access young students have to electronic reading devices, whether Kindles, iPads, personal computers, or mobile phones, the less likely they are to read. That was the finding of a recent study by Margaret Merga of Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, and Saiyidi Mat Roni of Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, and Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
In their study of almost 1,000 children aged 4-6, even those respondents who were daily book readers tended to underutilize electronic devices for recreational reading. The greater the range of devices to which the youngsters had access, the lower their reading frequency.
This is a concern as more children use reading devices in the classroom, either provided by their school or through "bring your own device" initiatives. In addition, many schools and libraries are enlarging their e-book collections, frequently at the expense of print books.
“Reading on Internet-enabled devices, such as tablets, also opens up easy opportunity for distraction,” the report stated, “allowing engagement in the practice of media multitasking, which has been found to detrimentally impact on student comprehension and concentration.”