Dr. Radesky, who participated in the research projects with Dr. Munzer was involved, spoke about the importance of helping children master reading that goes beyond certain details – words or signs or events – so that a child can “experience the knowledge of the story with life experience. “Again, she said, that’s not what is emphasized in digital design. “Things that get you thinking, make you slow down and process things deeply, don’t sell, don’t get the most clicks,” she said.
Parents can help with this when their children are young, said Dr. Radesky by discussing the story and asking the questions that will help children make those connections.
For school-age children
“When children enter digital spaces, in addition to the e-books they are supposed to read, they have access to an infinite number of platforms and websites,” said Dr. Radesky. “We have all been there and have helped our children through distance learning and observed how they cannot resist opening this tab, which is less demanding.”
“Throughout the fall, I’ve been helping families remove their child from YouTube,” said Dr. Radesky. “You’re bored, it’s easy to open a browser window,” adults know all too well. “I’m worried that while learning at a distance, children have learned to orient themselves to devices with this very little partial attention.”
Professor Baron said that in an ideal world children would learn “how to read coherent texts for pleasure, how to stop, how to reflect”.
In elementary school, she said, there is an opportunity to start a conversation about the benefits of the different media: “It’s about printing, it’s about a digital screen, it’s about audio, it’s about video, they all have their uses – us need to make children aware that not all media are best for all purposes. “Children can experiment with digital and print reading and be encouraged to talk about what they have noticed and what they enjoyed.
Dr. Radesky talked about helping children develop what she called “metacognition” by asking themselves questions like, “How does my brain feel, what does this mean for my attention span?” From the ages of 8-10, children develop the skills to understand how to stay at work and how to get distracted. “Children recognize when the classroom is getting too crowded. We want them to know when you are in a very busy digital space, ”she said.