Should you introduce interactive Ebooks into your child’s life?

E-Reading vs Print Reading

 

Electronic books are catching the world by storm and we’re beginning to find them at our child’s bedside. EBooks can simply be downloadable PDF text files or multimedia rich and interactive; it’s any type of book you can read on a screen. They come in all genres, for all age groups and may be read on a portable eReader, tablet, phone or computer. As a parent, you may be wondering if you should introduce your young ones to interactive eBooks, so read on for an inside look at multimedia rich eBooks.

 

Introducing Multimedia Rich eBooks at a young age

 

Pros:

The interactive features in eBooks aid in learning to make associations between words, images, sounds and animation. Some online eBooks allow for the child to click on specific words linking them to the definition, image, movement (if an action word) and repetition of the word. This can significantly help with building language skills at a young age. Just like a parent would read with their finger following along the page, an interactive eBook can do the same by highlighting the words as it reads along. This experience engages more senses than traditional reading would, and it can assist in learning the associations and meanings of words.

 

Cons:

Story time between a parent and child has always been a cherished time in the homes of many families. The introduction of technology is creating a divide in the connections that families once shared. A potential con of eReading at a young age is the loss of bonding time that comes with reading with your child.

A second factor to consider is that traditional reading is known to spark one’s imagination; to bring the words to life in a child’s mind.  An interactive book leaves little to the imagination as it already provides the reader with animation, ambient sounds and voiced dialogue between characters, thus it doesn’t necessarily promote the development of creativity that would come by imagining a setting or scene read in a traditional book.

 

How can you integrate interactive eBooks by minimising the cons?

To maintain the intimacy of storytelling you can combine traditional bedtime reading with eBook reading time. You can choose to sit with them while they read eBooks and participate in the activity or you may allow them the time to explore eBooks alone. Combining the two activities helps promotes two sets of skills: learning associations between words, sound and movement and creativity. So it can be assumed that finding a balance in the use of both reading materials it could boost reading skills.

 

Electronic Reading Vs. Print Reading

The National Literacy Trust studies have found that those who read on-screen daily were twice less likely to be above average readers than those who read daily in print or in print and on screen (15.5% vs 26%). Those who read only on screen are also three times less likely to enjoy reading very much (12% vs 51%) and a third less likely to have a favourite book (59% vs 77%)

 

For answers to some common questions, or to ask your own about child eSafety, visit Quib.ly ‘s eSafety expert’s page Quib.ly is a forum built for parents to exchange knowledge and information on the technologies their children are using.

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