1. More research is needed on how students are taught to read digital texts and how that effect comprehension. More is also needed on elementary aged students. Having taught K-2 for my whole career, I am seeing more digital texts popping up even at this early level. Things like ebooks on Raz Kids are providing more access to books for students at home due to Covid. They can also ensure that young students have books at their levels to practice with at home, which they may not have in their at home book collection.
2. Most of the concerns in research can be addressed instructionally. Students need to be taught digital literacy. How do you read text that has hyperlinks? How to you read non linear text? How do you read infographics? What can you do to manipulate the text and avoid distractions that will help you understand? Students need to take ownership of that responsibility to understand digital text. But they need strategies at their disposal that they have been taught in order to be able to do so! Teachers also need provide a clear reason for reading, and an expectation (product) to hold them accountable for their comprehension.
3. There are several TYPES of digital text: short form, mid form and long form. How you read and interact with each of these varies. Students need strategies for each type.
Impacts: Digital text increases equity and access as it can be made available to everyone, even when learning is remote. However, teachers need to be literate in reading digital texts themselves and explicitly teach strategies to help students make sense of digital text. This will allow for deeper understanding.
Question: I'm wondering how assessment might look, especially for the younger grades, using digital text. Will it be as accurate as an in person, book in hand reading assessment? Will students be as accurate in their reading of the words? Or will having to read in on the computer/tablet make a difference (either positive or negative)?