A report released by Scholastic today found that although a third of 9- to 17-year-olds said an e-reader would encourage them to read more books, only 16 percent of parents plan to purchase one in the next year.
Forty-one percent of parents surveyed said digital devices were cutting into their children’s reading time, as well as time spent doing physical activities (40 percent) and engaging with family (33 percent). However, the majority of 9- to 17-year-olds surveyed (57 percent) expressed interest in reading e-books.
“While parents understandably have concerns about the amount of time their kids are spending on electronic or digital devices, ebooks offer a way to get more kids reading and kids reading more,” said Francie Alexander, the chief academic officer for Scholastic, in a press release.
Students and parents also differ on their views of what constitutes reading. For instance, a quarter of kids surveyed considered texting with friends reading versus 8 percent of adults, and 28 percent of kids considered spending time looking at comments and profiles on social-networking websites like Facebook reading versus 15 percent of parents.
One last, disconcerting tidbit of information from the survey is that 39 percent of students ages 9-17 agreed with the statement “The information I find online is always correct.” Clearly that statistic points to a need for more education on information and digital literacy for today’s students.
The survey was based on responses by 1,045 children ages 6-17 and their parents, conducted in the spring of 2010. It cobbles together a sweeping portrait of literacy and the way that technological advances are changing what that looks like for children and adults. There’s a lot of information in this report, and it’s well-worth the read.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.