An interesting articles in the New York Times: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?
“We know how children learn to read,” said Kyle Snow, the applied research director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “But we don’t know how that process will be affected by digital technology.”
But a handful of new studies suggest that reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development.
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 reason, they said, was that parents and children using an electronic device spent more time focusing on the device itself than on the story (a conclusion shared by at least two other studies).
But when it comes to learning language, researchers say, no piece of technology can substitute for a live instructor — even if the child appears to be paying close attention.
“There’s the possibility for e-books to become the TV babysitters of this generation,” he said. “We don’t want parents to say, ‘There’s no reason for me to sit here and turn pages and tell my child how to read the word, because my iPad can do it.’ ”
Parents note that there is an emotional component to paper-and-ink storybooks that, so far, does not seem to extend to their electronic counterparts, however engaging.
In any event, you’ll find only ink-on-paper books in the children’s reading corner at The Montessori House.