According to a study by The National Literacy Trust, touch-screen devices like iPads and Kindles can get children aged 3-5 more interested in reading, amid concerns that growing numbers of infants are rejecting books, The Telegraph is reporting. Experts have found that technology can play an important role in getting young children to read.
The research claims that poorer children could benefit in particular from using touch screens alongside traditional books “to generate more interest in stories”. However, the recommendation also provoked criticism from nursery leaders who warned that exposure to technology at a young age risked damaging children’s development. They claim that that children’s concentration levels are shorter than ever before because of “addiction to screen-based entertainment”.
Davina Ludlow, director of daynurseries.co.uk, a childcare guide, said its own surveys of parents found the majority were opposed to the use of technology.
“In a recent poll, only one in four of the respondents thought children benefit from using ICT in nurseries,” she said. “Our poll showed that the majority of people clearly want to see early education and childhood play protected from this technological change.”
The trust insisted it was not advocating the use of technology instead of books but wanted parents to use both.
The trust, in conjunction with the publisher and education company Pearson, surveyed just over 1,000 parents with children aged 3 to 5.