E-Book or Paper Book − What’s Best for Young Children?

23 August 2016

We are in a period of great technological progress and are surrounded by various forms of digital devices and gadgets. They have a large impact on our lives, and also influence the kinds of books our children read.

Now, there are two kinds of books to read: traditional paper books and electronic books. E-books might be read or watched on your PC via different applications on tablets or even on your phone. The narrator tells the story and kids enjoy the animated pictures, sound effects, and music, which can offer an interactive experience to the young reader.

ebooks for young children

Parents and educators have spent years discussing whether screen time harms or benefits young children, and whether or not kids really learn as much from e-books as they do from printed media and traditional books. These investigations show that there are plenty of costs and benefits to e-books.

Benefits of E-Books:

  • The possibility to learn literacy and language skills with the help of a dictionary, highlighted words, and some pictures and games that can explain the plot.
  • Kids have longer interaction with parents when viewing the e-books.
  • Children who have delayed development show improvement in vocabulary and understanding of the words when they are broken up into small parts.
  • Children can read such books many times, which improves their literacy skills.
  • Kids can read e-books without parents and this way they read more frequently than with a usual paper book.
  • Wide access and convenience of the e-book: you can download them to computer or any other device.

Limitations of E-Books:

  • Kids and parents discuss buttons and games more when reading than the story itself.
  • Kids who read the paper book often know more details and events from the story.
  • All the pictures and interactive features might distract kids’ attention from the story, as they pay more attention to all those colorful pictures and buttons when reading.

Features of Good E-Books:

  • The pictures help kids understand the plot of the story and do not distract them with too much extra information.
  • Games and features start only after the page is read by the narrator.
  • Words should be highlighted when narrator reads them.
  • Dictionary and repeated reading options help children build their vocabulary.
  • Back and forth buttons imitate turning pages and reading from left to right.

E-books can be quite useful for children’s literacy development but they shouldn’t replace traditional paper books. As with most things, it’s important to offer a healthy balance. Providing a wide variety of different types of books and printed media will help children develop a full range of literacy skills that will help them learn and grow in today’s highly technological society.

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