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Insight Newsletter

David Ward

April 30, 2014

David Ward, assistant professor of education, has written four new articles connected to his studies on children’s interactions with reading and writing formats, traditional and virtual.

“E-Reading and Children: Is New Technology Improving Reading Skills?” appeared in Reading Today. Ward notes that boys lag behind girls in literacy around the world, then explores whether e-readers might appeal to boys more than traditional books. In general,” Ward writes, “the research indicates there are benefits to using e-books with children, particularly boys and struggling readers, on the condition that distracting features of electronic devices are not overused or become distracting.”

In an article titled “In the Pages of a Book: Narrative Transportation Theory and the Story World,” in the journal Dragon Lode, Ward explores the feeling of getting sucked into a book. He connects his research to writing strategies teachers can use in the classroom. “As industry and technology continue to create and expand the bounds of what constitutes literacy,” Ward writes. “It is imperative that educators pay attention to theories such as narrative transportation.”

Ward further explores this theory and the importance of stories in children’s lives in “Canadian Authors and Canadian Kids: Reading, Writing and Meaningful Talk,” scheduled to appear in the journal Canadian Children. Ward recounts conversations with children about books while on author tour in Canada. He finds that even with more digital technology available, Canadian children still share a passion for a good written story.

In “Boys and Kindles,” for the journal Alberta Voices, Ward examines the effects of electronic readers on reading achievement. He studies boys who are more anxious to Snapchat, Instagram or play games on their phones than to read a chapter book. “Kindles may help some boys increase their reading frequency at home and improve their self-perception as readers,” Ward writes. “Boys who have a positive self-perception about themselves as readers and who read more frequently are in a better position to improve their actual reading abilities.”

Ward researches and teaches in literacy and children’s literature in education, particularly reading and writing connections. In addition to numerous scholarly words on the subject of literacy, he is also the author of a number of books for children. Learn more about David Ward.

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