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Tradition wins over technology with young readers

Most young Americans have either an e-reader, a tablet or both, but when it comes to reading, they spend more time reading a book

WASHINGTON: Two-thirds of young children in the United States now have access to an e-reader or tablet, but only half of them actually use the device to read, a research institute said in a study published Friday.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center which promotes literacy skills surveyed 1,577 parents on how much time their two- to 10-year-old kids spent with educational content on "screen media" such as televisions, computers and video games.

More than half the children, or 62 per cent, had access to either an e-reader, a tablet or both - but only 49 per cent of them used the devices for reading, either alone or with their parents, the study found.

And when they did read on a device, it was typically for about five minutes a day, compared with about half an hour with printed books.

Parents however said that nearly half of the screen media used by their children was educational and made up 56 minutes out of some two hours of viewing a day.

Most thought their child had learned "a lot" from educational media about reading and mathematics, but only 19 per cent thought that much had been learned about science.

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