Parents, Libraries, and Reading in Today’s Digital World

parents libraries reading PewLibraries continue to play a significant role in the development of young readers, even as digital resources increase and children engage in more digital activities.

Recent research by the Pew Internet and American Life Organization finds that families with incomes under $50,000 consider libraries to be an important resource in the lives of their children.

Whether they are considering digital or non-digital opportunities, these families are more likely to rate library services as important than parents in families with higher incomes.

Some interesting research findings, quoted from the report:

  • 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
  • 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
  • 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.

Too see other graphs and learn more about the research released on May 1, 2013, read the report, Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading.

Digital Kids to Parents: Listen Up!

With more than 30 years as a teacher including over 20 in the educational technology field, I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills.

Here are the seven most common “I Wish” statements that I’ve heard expressed by children over the last 16 or 17 years. Two of them, I can report, my daughter also mentioned to me ages ago.

Kids wish their parents and other adults would:         Continue reading

Kids’ Cell Phones? Who’s in Charge Here?

Made at Wordle.com.

Read You Make the Call on Kids’ Phones in the Sunday, November 27, 2011 Washington Post. Written by columnist Michelle Singletary and aimed at the parents of digital kids, the article examines the practice of giving children cell phones at younger and younger ages. The author believes that, in reality, cell phones are simply playful gadgets that easily confuse children about the difference between needing things and wanting things.

Most Compelling Thoughts from the Article

  • If you give your children cell phones, each one should sign a contract that specifies your expectations about appropriate use. Check out the cell phone contract posted here on the MediaTechParenting.net blog. Continue reading

Digital Kids to Parents: Please Learn More…

With more than 30 years as a teacher including over 20 in the educational technology field, I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills.

Here are the seven most common “I Wish” statements that I’ve heard expressed by children over the last 16 or 17 years. Two of them my daughter told me.

Kids wish their parents and other adult would:

Continue reading

My Kid’s Digital Blunders? How to React?

updated 9-26-2011

At one time or another, most of us experience the protective parent surge, a not-my-child reaction, when someone lets us know that a son or daughter could be involved in some sort of digital misbehavior. Often a child’s digital blunder is public for many people, but not public enough for a  parent to casually discover the problem, so the first alert may indeed come from another parent.

Especially if this information comes from someone who is not well-known, the protective parent energy surge can complicate an issue even further. I know because I’ve felt this powerful surge.

Ages ago I heard a presentation that described how to react when one parent tells another parent that a child may be involved in a problem. I don’t remember when or where, but here are the seven rules I subsequently made for myself. Continue reading

Mrs. Obama Said No Facebook???

Preteens are savvy media consumers, and among the kids I know there is significant buzz about Michelle Obama’s views on Facebook. “Pre-teenagerdom” is such a difficult and challenging time for parents and for the kids themselves. Many children want to hurry up and become teens and joining into social networking activities is one way to make them feel older and even wiser. Feeling and sometimes believing that your parents simply don’t understand technology is another way. So it’s a bit of a blow when the First Lady and First Mom — a person many of them admire — tells their parents to slow things down.

A Few Other Reports

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