Touchscreen equipment could bridge the literacy divide

Children's Books

Touchscreen equipment could bridge the literacy divide

It is often assumed that technology is a cause for concern when it comes to a child’s learning. However, a new report for Pearson and the National Literacy Trust (NLT) has found that these devices can offer significant benefits to some groups of children.

Touchscreen devices are used more than books

The Early Years Literacy Survey highlighted that certain groups of children are more likely to use touchscreens than others. In fact, children aged three and four who come from families that are working class or where no one works are twice as likely to spend a greater amount of time reading on tablets and smartphones than traditional books when compared to their middle and upper class peers.

The same trends can be seen when comparing the habits among genders. The survey found that 24 per cent of boys read more on touchscreen equipment than physical books. However, the figure for girls was only 12 per cent.

The benefits of touchscreen devices

Over 91 per cent of children have access to devices such as Android tablets and iPhones. The survey shows that these devices can actually benefit a child’s literacy skills rather than being detrimental, as some people believe. The results highlighted that those children who use the devices had a greater vocabulary range than their peers who did not use them. This result is the same regardless of the child’s family income. These devices can be particularly beneficial for boys, with 36 per cent of boys using them more as an educational tool rather than for entertainment, compared with just 28 per cent of girls.

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