Exploring the impact of technology on young people's reading lives


We are launching a new survey to find out how young people in the UK are using technology to read. The survey focuses particularly on young people aged 11 to 16, reflecting a need to address a sharp decline in reading enjoyment reported by this age group.

Why are we running this technology and reading for enjoyment survey?

Our research has shown that more and more children and young people are using digital technology to read, and that it can be a particularly effective tool for engaging reluctant readers. However, a polarised view of technology use dominates the media, with concerns about screen time and wellbeing contending with the need to provide children and young people with literacy skills suitable for the 21st century.

Our new study aims to explore the impact of technology on young peoples’ literacy lives, to help us make practical and policy recommendations about how schools can most effectively use young people’s engagement with technology to boost literacy, particularly for boys and those in areas of disadvantage. A key part of the study will be a survey exploring young people’s attitudes to, experience of and confidence in using technology to read for enjoyment.

When will the survey launch?

The survey will launch online in May 2019, and will be live until the end of the month. It will look into how, when and where young people use technology to read; what they perceive as ‘reading’ when engaging with technology and the range of materials being read in a digital format. Participating schools get their own individual school report that outlines your basic findings, which you can compare nationally once the national reports are published.

You could use your report to:

  • Review your current provision
  • Inform your literacy strategy
  • Give as supporting evidence to OFSTED

In addition, the main contact of each participating school will have an opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win one of five £50 gift vouchers of their choice.

How it works

We aim to survey children and young people aged 11 to 16, both male and female, from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Participating schools will need to provide pupils with access to a 30 minute online survey, and we will do the rest. If you would like your students to take part, please complete the form below and you will be sent a school-specific link to your survey.

We would also like to hear teachers’ views on this topic and invite teachers to take a short (15 minute) survey here: http://research.literacytrust.org.uk/s/techandyp/. Completed teacher surveys will also be eligible for a separate prize draw for one of five £50 vouchers.