Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Do e-books offer good early language and literacy support?

This study examines whether eBooks for children (aged 3 to 8) available on the market can serve as a good support for language and literacy. This follows studies published 10 years ago, which showed that children's e-books are usually overloaded with multimedia effects that distract children from the storyline, and from language and literacy learning.

33 e-books that include oral and written texts were randomly selected for evaluation from the Internet and the AP store.

A limited number of automatic animations and of hotspots on illustrations were found that may provide a good level of support for storyline comprehension. However, very few eBooks have features that support language learning. Furthermore, some of the eBooks incorporate games within the story channel, which might distract children from the storyline.

Although important improvements in e-book design compared to former years were found, there are still important features that need to be improved in order to create better software for young children’s language and literacy development.

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