It's a great question, especially in today's busy world that provides several other options for entertainment. After reading a recent research article on Common Sense Media Research on the devastating decline of our children time reading, frequency of reading, and what those predictors mean.
Based on what I read, I ask the question... could our trends in the decline of reading be linked to our use of technology, or is simple a lack of knowledge of where to access to good age appropriate reading materials?
In 2006, Early Kaiser Foundation found that children ages 6 months to 6 years spend 5 minutes a day on electronic books, such as LeapPads. In 2009, after Kindles, iPads and other electronic reading devices were introduced, the results came back that only 2 minutes were being spend on reading. According to a Common Sense study, today over 75% of families own some type of "smart" electronic device. Out of these families, less than 28% had used them for reading at home. The devices are used for playing games, watching TV or movies or using apps.
Based on the same study, only 4% of 8 year olds and under use ebooks on a daily basis, either reading by themselves or being read to by their parents. Learning this statistic, I was puzzled. Why wouldn't parents take advantage of all the wonderful apps and websites available for reading. After combing through the study, it appears that at a young age, parents like to flip pages of a book. I get it, I love the feel of books in my hands. The second is that they don't have good sources for knowing where to get access to millions of books for their electronic devices.
Knowing what I know now, I need to determine how to further integrate technology in my classroom. Currently, we use RAZ-Kids in the classroom for reading. Based on the statistics in the article, most of my students do not use an electronic devices for reading at home. Providing parents with access and logon information at home would give the students the ability to access their ebooks and reading level anywhere. Also, exposing parents to Tumblebooks and Epic would give parents and students access to a library of books. Instead of handing their child their phone to play an app or watch a movie, maybe we can move to...
"Would you like to read a book?"