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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

It matters how kids read: On-screen reading doesn't build comprehension

It doesn't matter what kids read as long as they're reading, people often say. Maybe so. But for "developing readers," leisure reading on screen doesn't build comprehension, concludes a newly published analysis. Reading in print does improve comprehension.


For primary and middle school students, "there were small negative relationships between leisure digital reading and comprehension," reports Johnny Jackson in Diverse. Time spent on digital reading was "slightly positive" for high school and college students.


Digital reading may distract younger readers, researchers speculated. In addition, on-screen reading may feature "short- and fast-paced stimuli, lower quality content, and less sophisticated vocabulary."

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