28 Aug 2015

Do Tablets Impact Literacy?

Do Tablets Impact Literacy?

Do tablets impact literacy or more pointedly, do digital sources and devices negatively impacting literacy skills and independent reading by students?  Stuart Dredge published an article in The Guardian exploring how the implementation of tablets has impacted reading habits of young people.  He cites a 12.3% increase in UK children reading outside of class between 2010-2014 and a 6% drop in US children.

Print text like books have long been held as the primary source for engaging students in narrative, context and reading comprehension.  Digital sources and Apps are more condensed and interactive, thus the possibility comprehension distractions may occur.

As cited in the article there is no clear cut causal problem in this debate thus, there needs to be more study in this area.  Reading comprehension is not singularly dependent on books, students, parents, tablets, apps or teaching practices.  Rather, we are at the confluence of all of these contributing factors at a time when text and literacy is driven by a changing digitally formatted world.

Our students must use digital devices to be prepared for not only the world they live in now but also the one they will work in.  Much thought and work must go into increasing literacy skills given the new medium formats.  To resist and not adapt would be disadvantageous to our children.



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