Excerpt

The following ran on the March 27, 2012, edition of Earthsky.org. Dara Willilams-Rossi, lecturer and director of undergraduate programs at SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, provided expertise for this story.

Middle school boys who are reluctant readers value reading more after using e-readers

 

April 4, 2012

Study finds e-readers have opposite effect on middle school girls who struggle with reading.

Middle school boys rated reading more valuable as an activity after two months of using an e-reader, according to a new study.
 
The findings come from a study of 199 middle school students who struggle with reading and who participated in a reading improvement class that included Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, said one of the study’s authors, Dara Williams-Rossi, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
 
The researchers found that boys consistently had a higher self-concept of their reading skill than girls both before and after using the e-readers. After use of the e-readers, boys’ attitudes about the value of reading improved, while girls’ attitudes declined, said Williams-Rossi, an assistant clinical professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU.
 
Technology motivated boys; girls appear to prefer actual books
 “The technology appeared to motivate the boys to read, while many girls preferred the actual books,” said Williams-Rossi, who is also director of undergraduate programs in Simmons. “The data showing the girls’ preference were statistically significant and particularly intriguing. This is part of a 3-year study and this data came midway through, so we are continuing our investigation and interviewing girls to understand their reaction to the e-readers. It may be that they prefer curling up with actual books and that they enjoy sharing their reading with their friends.”
 
Among the findings, students generally liked using e-readers and many felt that using it helped their reading improve. Sixth- and seventh-graders were more enthusiastic than eighth-graders about the e-readers, the researchers found....