Printed children’s books better, say Sesame Street Creators


Technology is providing modern reading platforms and diminishing the traditional role paper has played for generations. Tablets, e-readers, and iPads are fast becoming norm. Even parents are using them to engage their children, and create more “me” or “us” time.

However, new research suggests that the good old printed book, or a basic e-book, is much better when teaching children to read. According to an article “Enhanced e-books are bad for children, finds American study” carried in the UK’s Guardian, the interactive e-books distract children from the story.

Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a New York based research and innovation lab that focuses on digital media technologies to advance children’ s learning and creator of Sesame Street, researchers gave three to six-year olds printed, basic e-books and interactive e-books. They discovered that those children with printed books and basic e-books recalled more of the story details compared to the ones who read a similar story on interactive e-books. The sounds and animation are usually not part of the content or narrative, hence children don’t follow the story properly.

So, while every indication seems to suggest that the future of reading is digital, the old paper technology still has benefits and advantages that may take a little longer for the modern technologies to outplace.

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