Are E-Books Good for Kids?

Sara Yu

On Thursday President Obama announced a plan to make $250 million worth of e-books available to public libraries as part of an effort to expand literacy and “digital connectivity” among low-income students. He spoke to Washington, D.C., students about his personal fondness for print books but stressed the importance of keeping up with technological advances.

Parents often ask me if it’s okay for their children to read on an iPad, Kindle, or other type of e-reader. New opinion polls and studies about e-reading come out every few months, and it seems like everyone has an opinion about this relatively new technology.
There are lots of reasons why e-books are more convenient than print books – weight, storage space, instant accessibility – but I’m going to lay aside those practical concerns for now and focus on what’s best for kids. And I’m going to be completely forthright here: This is new technology, and we’re still figuring it out. As we learn more about how kids read, we’ll adjust our teaching practice to make sure we’re meeting kids’ needs.