Can tablets really help kids learn to read?

In this photograph illustration a ten-year-old boy uses an Apple Ipad tablet computer

Image of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between
Author: Jason Boog
Publisher: Touchstone (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 336 pages

Can tablets and apps help children learn to read? It feels like a simple question, but the answer is complicated.

For starters, technology is moving fast, and there hasn't been time for solid scientific consensus to develop on whether and how devices like tablets should be used to help children improve their reading skills.

That hasn't stopped school systems around the country from buying in, and we heard this week about tablets in schools from Marketplace's LearningCurve reporter Adriene Hill.

But beyond schools and teachers, what about parents who want their children to have top notch reading skills in a changing environment?

Jason Boog is the author of "Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age." Boog says that there is some agreement in the scientific community on a few important points.

Click the media player above to hear Jason Boog in conversation with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.

One thing neuroscientists seem to agree that kids shouldn't be playing with tablets and smartphones until they're over two years of age. Another is that whatever apps or technology we use to try and improve our kids' reading skills, there is no real alternative for a real human being reading with and to a child. 

 

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.
Image of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between
Author: Jason Boog
Publisher: Touchstone (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 336 pages

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