Literacy and technology

Children with tablets

The influx of new technologies and digital platforms is transforming the way that children and young people access reading material, with digital reading and communication becoming an increasingly important part of their literacy lives.

Key statistics about technology and literacy

  • 24% of pupils on free school meals read fiction digitally compared to 16% of their peers who are not eligible for free school meals. Find out more.
  • 3 in 4 (76.7%) teachers believe technology should be made available across the curriculum to support literacy. Find out more.
  • 3 in 5 (62.5%) young people who play video games write something relating to video games once a month. Find out more.

Literacy, technology and COVID-19

  • In April 2020, just 23% of the most deprived schools already had an online platform in place, compared with 60% of private and 37% of state schools in affluent areas. Later research found almost 1 in 5 (17%) children did not have consistent access to a suitable device for online home learning, increasing to 27% of children classed as “most financially vulnerable” (Find out more).
  • Libraries reported a surge in online borrowing in the first lockdown, with loans of online ebooks, e-magazines and audiobooks up an average of 63% in March compared with the previous year (Find out more).
  • A May 2020 survey by The Reading Agency found that many children were finding inspiration to read digitally, with 45% getting ideas from YouTube, and 28% from social media (Find out more).

Our latest research into literacy and technology

What else we know about technology

  • More than one-third (34.3%) of young people agreed with the statement, “Reading on screen is cooler than reading a book”, increasing to half (49.9%) of boys who don’t enjoy reading. Find out more.
  • Half of parents are worried about the impact of fake news and misinformation on their children’s lives (50%) and don’t think their children have the skills they need to spot it (52%). Find out more.
  • Almost a quarter (23.3%) of teachers say they have received no training to use technology to support literacy. Find out more.

Our work on technology