Young Learners’ Transactions With Interactive Digital Texts Using E-Readers

This year-long qualitative study draws from multimodal theory and New Literacies Studies to document the digital literacy experiences of a diverse group of 2nd-graders using e-readers. Twenty-first century classrooms must expand traditional notions of literacy to prepare students for the ever-changing, media-rich world. Students participated in small-group digital reading workshops, where they read interactive picture books. The data mainly drew from transcripts of student interactions and open-ended interviews and were analyzed through a combination of comparative and discourse analyses. The author argues that multimodal texts offer opportunities for rehearsal of literacy practices, engagement, talk as a choice of reader response, and student agency. Even though personal digital devices offer opportunities for independent reading, young readers still need social interactions around books to co-construct meaning. The study found the students spent additional time reading and successfully mediated the available resources as they engaged in digital reading.

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