Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poorer reading skills following changed computer habits of children

24.05.2011
Sweden and the US are two countries in which increased leisure use of computers by children leads to poorer reading ability. This is the conclusion from research carried out at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Professor Monica Rosén of the Department of Education and Special Education has analysed differences between different countries over time in order to explain change in reading achievement among 9-10-year olds. Within the framework of the research project she and her colleagues have studied how pupils’ reading skills have changed since 1970.

Hungary, Italy, the US and Sweden have been included in all of the international comparisons. Reading ability has improved steadily in Italy and Hungary, while it has fallen rapidly since 1991 in both the US and Sweden.

During this period, many factors within the school system have changed, as have also society in general and the after-school activities of children in particular. The Swedish and American pupils described a large increase in the use of computers in their free time during this period, while a similar increase was not reported in Hungary or Italy.

Reading underdeveloped
“Our study shows that the entry of computers into the home has contributed to changing children’s habits in such a manner that their reading does not develop to the same extent as previously. By comparing countries over time we can see a negative correlation between change in reading achievement and change in spare time computer habits which indicates that reading ability falls as leisure use of computers increases”, says Monica Rosén.

The investigation shows that the frequency of leisure reading and the number of leisure books borrowed from the library have both fallen as computer use in the home has increased.

Thus, it is not the computers in themselves or the activities they are used for that impair reading skills, but rather the way in which the computers have stolen time from leisure reading.

The new computer habits do not promote the development of reading ability in the same way as leisure reading of books does. Reading of printed media has fallen also among adults. In many homes it is becoming evermore unusual that somebody actually sits down and reads something.

Fewer high-performing children
“We have shown that the poorer results are principally caused by a fall in the skills of those from the centre of the ability range and upwards. It is not that case that there are more less-gifted readers or that the skills of these readers have become poorer. What has happened is that there are fewer high-performing children”, says Monica Rosén. She points out that it is very difficult to measure and compare reading skills over time.

“It is important that we do not jump to the conclusion that the complete explanation for poorer reading is deficiencies in education. On the contrary, the way in which computers undermine reading shows very clearly that leisure time is at least as important when it comes to developing high-quality reading skills”, says Monica Rosén.

The study has been carried out with financial support from the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

For more information, contact Monica Rosén: tel: +46 (0)31 7862 435, monica.rosen@ped.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

Further reports about: Education Poorer reading skills computer habits reading skills

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>