Kindle e-reader motivates less-enthusiastic readers, professor finds

Apr 16, 2010

To help children become better readers, a Kansas State University professor thinks they may 'need to spend less time with their noses stuck in books.

Lotta Larson, a K-State assistant professor of elementary education, is finding that electronic readers allow children to interact with texts in ways they don't interact with the printed word.

Since fall 2009, Larson has been using the Amazon in her work with a pair of second-graders. The has features that make the text audible, increase or decrease font size and let readers make notes about the book.

"It's interesting to see the kinds of things these kids have been able to do," Larson said.

She said sometimes they make comments summarizing the plot, therefore reinforcing their understanding of the book. Other times they ponder character development, jotting down things like "If I were him, I'd say no way!"

"As a teacher, I know a student understands the book if she's talking to the characters," Larson said.
"If you take a look at those notes, it's like having a glimpse into their brains as they're reading."

She said the ideal outcome would be for teachers to improve reading instruction by tailoring it to each student. Tests already have shown improvement in the students' perceptions of their own . Larson said the next step would be to gather quantitative data on how reading scores are affected.

Larson will present the work April 25-28 at the International Reading Association Conference in Chicago. She also presented in December 2009 at the National Reading Conference, and the work will appear in the journal The Reading Teacher this year. Now, Larson is working with e-readers for students who have special needs.

"I think that's where we'll really be able to make a big difference," Larson said.

She's also talking with middle school teachers about how downloadable might appeal to young teen boys who are reluctant readers. Based on the elementary students' reactions to the e-readers, Larson expects that gadget-savvy teenagers will be equally interested in reading if it's done on their computers.

Explore further: Couples need just one conversation to decide not to have children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Struggling male readers respond better to female teachers

Aug 23, 2007

Boys with difficulty reading actually respond better to female teachers, according to a new Canadian study. Research shows that boys develop higher positive self-perceptions as readers when they worked with female research ...

Schools shun Kindle, saying blind can't use it

Nov 11, 2009

(AP) -- Amazon's Kindle can read books aloud, but if you're blind it can be difficult to turn that function on without help. Now two universities say they will shun the device until Amazon changes the setup.

Recommended for you

Residents of 'boom time' suburbs face unsustainable commutes

16 hours ago

People living in the 'boom time' suburbs of Dublin are more likely to endure unsustainable commutes to work than those living in older accommodation. Research shows that people living in newly constructed housing in the Greater ...

Male-biased tweeting

Apr 23, 2014

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.