Quote

Kucirkova on self-reading children’s books

For Kucirkova, improving digital books is a matter of “social justice”. “Unfortunately, many digital books are of really low quality,” she said. “We mustn’t forget that there are many families where reading is not an activity that adults enjoy and they might not enjoy it with their children. So in those families, having a book that reads to the child is a huge asset. At the very least, we need to equalize the quality of the two formats.”

“I’m not saying that the digital book can ever replace the loving adult. I’m just saying that it can be a good substitute if there is nothing else,” she added.


Quote

Yuill & Martin on children in ‘head-down’ position

When children read from a screen, they tended to hold the tablet in a ‘head-down’ posture typical of solo uses [...] leading [the mothers] to curl round behind the child in order to ‘shoulder-surf’ the screen, rather than adopting the ‘curled-up’ position common when reading the paper book.


Quote

Cahill & McGill-Franzen on trans-literacy

Reading e-books promotes traditional literacy skills and is particularly supportive in the area of vocabulary development, and young children’s interaction with enhanced digital books also advances their facility to communicate and comprehend across modes and platforms, sometimes called trans-literacy development.


Quote

Takacs on children’s multimedia

As motion and zooming may direct children’s attention to a detail of the illustration in a similar way as an adult pointing at the detail and providing comments or explanations, multimedia may be just as beneficial in supporting story and language comprehension as interaction with an adult explaining the meanings of the story and sophisticated words in the narration.


Quote

Do you believe in Hobbes?

One day, I asked Otis what he thought of Hobbes. “What do you believe? Is he real or is he stuffed?” In a tone that connoted my knucklehead status, my son answered, “He’s a real tiger, but for some reason grown-ups think he’s a stuffed animal. I guess they just don’t know any better.”

His explanation silenced me. I realized I’d made a grave mistake. I was one of the (stupid) grown-ups. [...] Whether Hobbes was live or stuffed was beside the point. To believe in Hobbes is to believe in the power of imagination.


Quote

Yuill on shared e-books

We believe that designers could think more about how [e-books] can be designed for sharing [...] Book Trust figures report a drop from 86 per cent of parents reading with their five-year-olds to just 38 per cent with 11-year-olds. There is a possibility that the clever redesign of e-books and tablets might just slow that trend.


Quote

Children’s screen-time guidelines too restrictive

...moderate screen-use above the recommended limits might actually be linked to slightly higher levels of children’s wellbeing.

Lead author Dr Andrew Pryzbylski, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said: ‘Taken together, our findings suggest that there is little or no support for the theory that digital screen use, on its own, is bad for young children’s psychological wellbeing.

‘If anything, our findings suggest the broader family context, how parents set rules about digital screen time, and if they’re actively engaged in exploring the digital world together, are more important than the raw screen time. Future research should focus on how using digital devices with parents or care-givers and turning it into a social time can effect children’s psychological wellbeing, curiosity, and the bonds with the caregiver involved.’


Quote

YouTube Panoply

The other day, I was spending time with a young niece – still a toddler – while she watched videos on her iPad. She was working her way through a YouTube playlist – in each video, a pair of hands opened a Kinder Surprise and assembled the toy inside. Thinking I was doing her a favour, I made the video full-screen. But this sent my niece into a panic. "Little TV!" she insisted. "Not big TV!" She needed the smaller screen format so as to monitor the lineup of videos still to come. Focusing, even for a minute, on a single video was no good. She needed the panoply, the stream, the comfort of attending entertainments.