eBook vs Tree Book – Who wins the reading comprehension experiment?
Do you have better reading comprehension when you read from a traditional paper book vs reading from a tablet? This modern question was popular enough that when 7th grade student Katie Rudins did her science experiment on it, she won third place at the North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair and earned several other honors.
To find the answer, Katie ran experiments on twenty middle school students (ten boys and 10 girls). The students read stories from the school Wordly Wise® textbooks and from iPads. After they read each story they took a quiz that asked questions about the passages to see what facts about the story they could recall. In the two groups she studied (10 students in each group) she found that more questions were answered correctly after reading from a tree book!
So, does tree book win over eBook? Yes and no. While Katie’s project showed better content retention with paper books, the test results were only slightly better than when reading with a tablet.
The question, project and conclusion garnished lots of attention and intrigue from judges at many levels. Katie won 1st place (tie) at the Asheville Christian Academy School Fair, advancing her to the Western regional competition where she won the Office of Naval Research Science Award, as well as, a 2nd place award. This advanced her to the NC state level where she won 3rd place in the Junior Division Biological Science B category. At the state level she won two additional honors: The American Psychological Association for Achievement in Research and a Broadcom MASTERS nomination.
The relevant question was important to educators and while this experiment was done on twenty students, to draw more specific conclusions the same experiment could be run on larger sample groups. Other questions remain, too. Most of these kids grew up reading on paper books but what if they had grown up reading on tablets. Would this change the outcome?
At this point, a mixture of eBooks & tree books might be a good solution. If you like a mix of technology and traditional check out the Lost My Name® books.
Featured Book on today’s Tech Time segment
If you like a mix of technology and paper books, I recently found this really cool book by the publishing and technology startup, Lost My Name (LMN). The company, backed by Google Venture, publishes personalized books. Each story incorporates your child’s name, gender, address and hair color and takes them on a trip into space and brings them back to the child’s front door. Images from where the child lives – from their country flag on the spaceship to images of their city and town are incorporated throughout the story. The company uses NASA’s open source photography of outer space and mapping technology that enables a close-up flyby of the child’s neighborhood and landmark.
Each book is unique and makes a great gift for any child.
More info and ordering