US kids read little on e-readers, tablets: study

January 24, 2014

Two-thirds of young children in the United States now have access to an e-reader or tablet, but only half of them actually use the device to read, a research institute said in a study published Friday.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center surveyed 1,577 parents on how much time their two- to 10-year-old kids spent with educational content on "screen media" such as televisions, computers and video games.

Sixty-two percent of children had access to either an e-reader, a tablet or both—but only 49 percent of them used the devices for reading, either alone or with their parents, the study found.

And when they did read, it was typically for about five minutes a day—compared with about half an hour with printed books.

Parents considered 44 percent of the screen media used by their children to be educational—representing 56 minutes out of two hours and seven minutes' viewing a day.

Fifty-seven percent thought their child had learned "a lot" from educational media about reading and mathematics—but only 19 percent thought that much had been learned about science.

Named for one of the founders of the Children's Television Workshop, the studio behind "Sesame Street," the Joan Ganz Cooney Center promotes literacy skills while researching digital learning for youngsters.

It posted its study on its website: www.joanganzcooneycenter.org

Explore further: Exploring media use among young Hispanic children

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