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New Media

Rather than delivering a narrow and sharp definition, we like to use the term new media as a catch-all phrase for any digital media differing from or modifying traditional media such as print, radio and television. Thus, we allow ourselves to look at the usage of current and upcoming technological developments with respect to reading from many different angles.

New media have become a fact of life. We must ask, however, what the advantages are, and at what costs they do come with. We have to look at new media's impact on cognitive, social, emotional and physical developments and traits of children and adults. We also need to find out about alterations of reading habits, reading strategies and reading comprehension. We must also carefully consider who might or might not benefit from a specific medium in order to (learn to) read, and how to implement new media for the promotion of reading reasonably.

Following we highlight some initiatives and research.

Technology codes our mind

(Video by YouTube-user UserExperiencesWorks, using the creative commons licence CC BY 3.0.)

New Media for Reading Resource Page

There seems to be a huge interest in how new media can be used in order to promote reading amongst children and teenagers. Many devices are being used such as the kindle or the iPad, and more and more apps and e-books are being published. However, there are many questions such as: How to best implement new media for reading development? What works? How do children and their parents use new media? We have found some great resources for you.

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E-Devices Hinder Reading Development in China


Studies have shown that the brain and hand work closely together when learning how to write. New digital learning methods hinder learning how to read and write; this is currently leading to problems, especially in China.

A study by scientists from the University of Hong Kong has recently been published in the PNAS journal: The subject group, 6000 students in the 4th and 5th grade, each had to read out 300 characters from age-appropriate books. This caused serious problems for every third student.

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E-book Readers on the Rise in the United States

A recent research paper published by Pew Internet found that e-book reading jumped in the United States by late 2012. A survey showed that the number of those who read e-books increased from 16 per cent to 23 per cent among Americans aged 16 or older in the year 2012 compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the number of those reading printed books declined from 72 per cent to 67 per cent.

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E-Readers Help Elderly in the Silver E-Read Project

A recent study undertaken by researchers from the German Johann Gutenberg University Mainz in collaboration with MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH found no disadvantages to reading from e-books compared to print publications, despite most participants subjectively preferred reading traditional books best.

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Study on Reading Aloud 2012

Representative survey - digital media open new opportunities for reading aloud

On 30 October 2012, the representative study Digital reading products – new incentives for reading aloud? conducted by the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, Stiftung Lesen and Deutsche Bahn was released in Berlin. The findings were presented by Dr. Jürgen Grube, Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, Moritz Müller-Wirth, deputy editor-in-chief and features editor of DIE ZEIT, Dr. Jörg F. Maas, Managing Director of Stiftung Lesen, and Dr. Simone C. Ehmig, Head of Institute for Research on Reading and Media of Stiftung Lesen. The presentation of the study also comprised the launch of the 9th National Reading Aloud Day that will take place on 16 November 2012.

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Expert workshop: The future of reading


Expert workshop of the German reading foundation Stifung Lesen in Berlin on 5 and 6 June 2012.

This year’s expert workshop of the Stiftung Lesen which took place in Berlin on 5 and 6 June 2012 focused on the issue of the future of reading.

What does ‘reading’ mean today? Which effects do digitisation and demographic change have on the media and reading socialisation of children and adolescents, and thus also on reading promotion?

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Potential of e-readers

With the use of e-readers, reading becomes more appealing for children and teenagers.

This is one of the major findings of a study conducted in 2011 by the German reading foundation Stiftung Lesen on the Potential of E-Readers in the Promotion of Reading. The study clearly shows that the use of e-readers lowers the inhibition threshold for the first contact with books.

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Pilot study: Youth Literature and social networks (JL 2.0)

Transmedia Storytelling Project ahead of White Ravens Festival

© International Youth Library

The International Youth Library in Munich launches a transmedia project for promoting communication on the topic of youth literature in social networks ahead of the White Ravens Festival for international child and youth literature, to be held in Munich from July 15th until July 20th, 2012. The study is meant to gain evidence regarding transmedia and intercultural potentials offered by social networks for literary and cultural educational work.

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Cellphone novels

A reading phenomenon made in Japan


Cellphone novels are a significant and cutting-edge example of the increasing popularity of works that do not originate from paper-based manuscripts, but from online formats. They illustrate the strong reciprocal effects of technical developments with literary formats. In her article, Johanna Mauermann discusses the position cellphone novels hold in Japanese literature, and whether they should be viewed as an indicator of a changing concept of literature.

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Children`s books for free download

Cover-Tyron-the-horribleChildren`s books by Hans Wilhelm have been translated into many different languages and they are highly popular with children all over the world. On his website “Children`s Books Forever“, the author and illustrator provides many of his books for download free of charge. For non-commercial purposes, users can print out texts and pictures or view them as [ ... ]  

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“Turn the volume on and open your book” - Listening and reading project (Switzerland)

Swiss_listening_and_reading_projectA project by the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media aimed at inspiring children to read; reading is made easier by listening to the beginning of a story. A set of 30 books and 10 mp3-players is delivered to the participating classes. The children will initially listen to a story that is interrupted with a cliffhanger so that they will be [ ... ]  

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“Fahrenheit451” - Project for teenagers in Belgium

Fahrenheit451“Fahrenheit451” is a project for teenagers aged 15 and older, in vocational and technical education. These young people are reluctant readers, so “Stichting Lezen Flanders” approach them via their own world of interest to entice them to read. By using the electronic search engine (www.boekenzoeker.org), they can access hundreds of titles they may be curious about.  

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The Story campaign - UK

The short story website is dedicated to the literary form of short stories: it provides information about campaigns and competitions, short story awards and background information, as well as introducing short story writing techniques and offering award-winning stories for download.

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Online book reviews

Suchmaske_Rezensionen_onlineRezensionen-online (online book reviews) is a project under the auspices of the Austrian library network, uniting literary-critical and library criteria in a database and enriching them with more related services. Without exception, anyone who is interested can access information regarding critical literary and media reviews. A media showcase that is linked to the database presents topical bestselling titles and offers thematic lists of titles (e.g. award-winning books, thematic selections etc.).

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More Information

Facts and figures

Which is better for these purposes, a printed book or an e-book?
Click on image to enlarge:

Which is better for these purposes, a printed book or an e-book?

Source: The rise of e-reading

Technology Owners Read More
Click on image to enlarge:

Technology Owners Read More

Source: The rise of e-reading (Part 2)

New Media