Scholastic Releases Study on Kids and Reading in the Digital Age
Eighty-four percent of parents acknowledge that today's kids have to know how to handle far more information than parents did when they were children. Yet one disturbing statistic suggests a need to strengthen the critical thinking skills of today's children—39% of kids (age 9-17) agree with the statement, "The information I find online is always correct."
Alexander continued, "Clearly there is a big role for parents and teachers to play in helping kids become better critical thinkers today starting at an early age given that the study found that among children age 9-11, nearly half believe everything they read online."
The study also reveals that today's children have a broad view of what constitutes reading: 25% of kids (age 9-17) think texting back and forth with friends counts as reading. Most parents don't agree—only 8% of parents count texting as reading.
The report found that the power of choice is a key factor in raising a reader. Nine out of ten children say that they are more likely to finish book they choose themselves. And parents don't try to overly influence that choice toward award winners or classic literature. Nine out of 10 parents say "As long as my child is reading, I just want my child to read books he/she likes."
And despite the pull of technology, kids still embrace printed books. 66% of kids (ages 9 - 17) agree with the statement, "I'll always want to read books printed on paper even though there are ebooks available."
The study also looked into the way parents encourage their kids to read more often. While putting limits on technology is one way that many children say their parents have used to encourage them to read more frequently, the study showed it to work best for children ages 9-11. For older kids, parents used other tactics including making sure there are interesting books in the home (effective for kids age 9-11, 15-17) and suggesting books they might like (effective for kids age 12-14).