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

This report, which draws together three data sources, presents the current status of touchscreen technology in preschool children’s emergent literacy in the home and in early years settings.

In line with previous research, 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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