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The Use of Technology to Support Literacy in the Early Years in 2015

Added 16 Jun 2016 | Updated 18 Aug 17

Findings from our third annual early years surveys of parents and early years practitioners. Read about the role of touchscreen technology in supporting preschool children’s emergent literacy in the home and in early years settings. Findings are based on our third annual early years surveys of parents and early years practitioners we conducted in 2015 with 1,000 parents and 450 early years practitioners.

We found that technology already plays a notable role in young children’s reading practice. However, reading on a touchscreen does not perform the same function as print-based reading, nor are attitudes towards these different media equivalent.

Some key themes emerged from the current data:

  • Touchscreen reading is being integrated into the home literacy environment more rapidly than the early years environment
  • Stories on a touchscreen and stories in print are not equivalent. This is true both in terms of attitudes to reading and reading behaviours, with daily reading still being the preserve of printed books
  • Touchscreens may have a beneficial role to play in emergent literacy for disadvantaged children

This report also highlights some key areas for future research with respect to the role of touchscreens in emergent literacy. 

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