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How does reading on a screen stack up against reading an actual book? Connect the Dots

The format children read in can make a difference in how they absorb information, according to a professor.

With so many kids in virtual learning parents may be concerned whether reading on a screen is just as good as reading a real book.

Let’s connect the dots.

According to a professor of linguistics at American University, the format children read in can make a difference in how they absorb information.

One issue is the mindset. 

Since most of us use screens for fun and socializing, we bring the same approach to whatever we read on a screen. So when it is time to really absorb new information we may not be paying the right kind of attention if it's on a screen. It can also mean we read on screens too quickly.

So what does the professor recommend? 

For the youngest readers, stick to old-fashioned books. This makes it easier for parents and kids to interact with the words on the page, allowing kids to go at their own pace and ask questions. 

While there are apps and ebooks for new readers, they often include too many distractions.

For school-age kids, it is a lot harder to avoid screens, but the experts say it is a good time to talk to kids about the differences between screens and printed material. That can help them start to figure out what helps them learn. 

And keep the conversation going. As kids get older they get better at picking up skills to stay focused, which can be a challenge no matter the medium.

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