Articles About the Digital Debate

Student on an iPad by Brad / Lexie Flickinger via flickr
Category: Bookbug

The effect of digital technology on children is a hot topic for parents and professionals alike. At Scottish Book Trust we’re regularly asked if children should be able to use digital media, but there are no firm answers.

Here are some of the views from all sides of the debate. The articles listed below look at the potential effects of technology on children – both negative and positive – that technology can have on children and their developing brains, and the differences in reading on paper and online. Some of these base their views on research and for some it’s a much more instinctive decision.

Do you let your child use tablets and mobile devices or do you prefer not to? What worries you about the effect of technology on children? Let us know your feelings in the comments below, and see what our panel have to say by following the #bookbugconf hashtag on Thursday 19 March or following us @ScottishBKTrust and



Why Reading On A Screen Is Bad For Critical Thinking
What impact is screen reading having on how we process and think about what we've read? 

Seven Myths About Young Children and Technology
This article from Childhood Education, an academic journal, summarizes some of the research that has been carried out on children and technology and some of the most common concerns about its impact.

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson tells why she vetoed ebook
One of the UK's most popular children's authors as chosen not to produce an interactive version of her work. Julia Donaldson talk about why she thinks book apps for children are a bad idea.

HAT MONKEY: The making of
Author Chris Haughton chose to create an app for children. Here he details how he went to idea to final product and some of the issues he had to consider when creating an interactive product.

Children's apps: 'Technology interferes with the story in most apps
Can ebooks and interactive apps really create a reading experience that can be compared to reading paper books? 

Rrecent research by the National Literacy Trust and Pearson has suggested that technology can help disadvantaged children read for longer. However Elaine Glasser argues in the Guardian that the headlines may not reflect the evidence

Technologies to help children learn: The good, the bad and the downright creative
Dr Andrew Manches examines some of his research on the impact of technology of children and discusses what might be necessary to create a positive digital experience.

Low income and digital exclusion
Lyndsey Burton examines whether there is a link between low income, digital exclusion and school attainment.

10 ways iPads teach kids with learning disabilities
Can iPads and other digital devices have a positive impact on children with learning difficulties

How the iPad can help kids with autism
Can technology help autistic children complete tasks they find difficult?