Kids and Web Credibility

Click for PDF of the book.

If you worry about the digital research activities of children, especially older students who complete significant amounts of their research using the unlimited resources available on the World Wide Web, you are not alone. Over the past 10 years I have wondered — more than once and sometimes with great angst — if my child and the many children I’ve known over the years really understand the need to evaluate the resources that they find on the web.

Recently I discovered a small book, published by the MacArthur Foundation, describing research that explored how children perceive the quality and reliability of digital media. It’s a book that concerned parents may want to read. In Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility, authors Andrew J. Flanagin and Miriam J. Metzger, summarize their study as a “…comprehensive investigation into youth’s Internet use and their assessment of the credibility of online information.” The authors wondered whether young digital media users, while sophisticated and fearless about using technology, could evaluate information and determine its quality. Continue reading

Kids and Digital Reading

Click this graphic to read the full report.

This week the Scholastic Corporation published a report describing the views of children and their families about reading, and it is worth taking the time to read.

Based on responses from 1045 children and their parents, the survey aimed to discover thoughts about digital activities and reading habits in today’s virtual world. The report is chock full of amazing graphs that depict the views and thoughts of young readers as well as parents’ responses to similar questions. Many of these graphs break the children’s answers by age group.

Today’s blog post reports on the first section of the report — Reading Books in the Digital Age.  Tomorrow I’ll provide highlights from the other two sections.

Interesting Opinions from Kids

  • Kids report that reading books for fun has decreased while a digital media activities have increased.
  • 39% of children reported that the information they find online is always correct (page 12).
  • 25% of young respondents have read a book on a digital device (page 14).
  • 57% of children want to read a book on a digital device (page 15).
  • 39% of young respondents said that they might read more if they had greater access to eBooks (page 16).
  • 66% percent of children said they will always want to read books printed on paper even if eBooks are available (page 18).

Key Observations from their Parents Continue reading