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Middle school boys who are reluctant readers value reading more after using e-readers
Date:3/27/2012

und the school, and students who weren't in reading improvement classes began asking how they could join "the Kindle classes."

Access to Internet a challenge; boosts need for teacher monitoring

For the study, the researchers provided e-books on the Kindle e-readers to 199 students at an urban middle school in Texas. The students had about 15 to 25 minutes during their silent reading improvement class period to read high-interest chapter books and stories on the Kindle. Books included 25 classics, including The Wizard of Oz and Black Beauty, as well as ghost stories and scary stories, which were the most popular. Students said they read between one and four e-books over the course of the two-month study.

Teachers generally thought the e-readers were better at getting their reluctant readers engaged, but they reported being frustrated by students' easy Internet access through the district's Wi-Fi, which required them to monitor the students more closely. Also, the teachers had to spend time keeping the e-readers charged, checked-out and locked up each night, but teachers told the researchers they plan to incorporate e-readers into their classes in coming years.

Overall, the students and their two teachers rated the experience as highly satisfying. In asking individual students what they liked about the e-readers, they said they liked not having to carry a lot of books; they liked other students not knowing their reading level or choice of book; and they liked that the book they were reading was always available and hadn't been removed from the classroom. The voice-to-text feature was popular with students for whom English is a second language.

In describing their reactions to the e-readers, students advised improvements to the Kindle and the books: a light, so it can be read in the dark; pictures; more books; and graphic novels.

Middle schoolers read less than younger students; "boring way to spend time"
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Contact: Margaret Allen
mallen@smu.edu
214-768-7664
Southern Methodist University
Source:Eurekalert

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