Spark: Enhanced eBooks and Kids

The host of CBC’s Spark, Nora Young, spoke with Cynthia Chiong about her recent study on children’s reading comprehension when using ebooks, enhanced ebooks and print books. Her findings should give those that get enthused about enhanced-/interactive- ebooks pause for thought. She found that children recall less detail after reading an enhanced ebook than from a regular ebook or a print book. It seems that while all that clicking and watching animated characters appear on the screen may be fun, it’s not reading.

Also, She found that the interaction between a parent and child when reading an enhanced ebook is different than the other book types. She found that the conversation shifts from being about the story line to more talk about using the ebook.

Chiong is careful not to discourage the use of enhanced ebooks all together but she does give guidance to parents that want to use them with their kids.

Interestingly, she found very similar results when comparing reading comprehension between regular print books and popup books.

The full podcast can be found here. The interview with Chiong starts at the 1:35 mark and runs for about 7:00 minutes.

Here’s a link to Chiong’s study.

Spark is a great podcast from the CBC. If you’re not familiar with it, I encourage you to check it out.