Frontburner: SMU Research — Boys Prefer Reading on a Kindle

D Magazine’s popular Frontburner blog covered the research of Dara Williams-Rossi, clinical assistant professor and director of undergraduate programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development.

The blog post by Jason Heid, SMU Research: Boys Prefer Reading on a Kindle, published April 3.

The research found that middle school boys who are reluctant readers rated reading more valuable as an activity after two months of using an e-reader.

The students in the study were part of a reading improvement class in their school that included Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. After use of the e-readers, boys’ attitudes about the value of reading improved, while girls’ attitudes declined, said Williams-Rossi.

Read the full story.

EXCERPT:

By Jason Heid
Frontburner

UPI reported about research at SMU in which middle-school boys who had been reluctant readers liked reading more after two months of using a Kindle. Meanwhile the girls in the study responded differently.

“The technology appeared to motivate the boys to read while many girls preferred the actual books,” [SMU researcher Dara] Williams-Rossi said. “It may be that they prefer curling up with actual books and that they enjoy sharing their reading with their friends.”

Because girls like to “curl up” more than boys do?

I have a Kindle, and I don’t find curling up with an e-reader to be any more difficult than with an actual book. In fact, it’s easier to do when you’re tackling a larger tome. I was recently glad to be reading The Pickwick Papers on my Kindle rather than having to balance the 800-page book in my hands when I laid in bed.

My inability to entirely love e-readers has more to do with the experience not quite feeling “real.” I’ve experienced some of the same strange inability to remember things from chapter to chapter as did the author of this Time article, which also explains how the physical presence of a book may make it easier to learn material:

Read the full story.

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information see www.smu.edu.

SMU has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio, or online interviews. To speak with an SMU expert or book an SMU guest in the studio, call SMU News & Communications at 214-768-7650.

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