Symposium Session 4: Taming Technology: Making Evidence-Based Decisions Regarding Digital Media

Date & Time

Jun 8th at 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM



Rating ( votes)


  • Brenna Hassinger-Das (Temple University)
  • Rebecca Dore (University of Delaware)
  • Roberta Golinkoff (University of Delaware)
  • Jennifer Zosh (Penn State University-Brandywine)
How can scientists help caregivers make sound choices about children's digital media use? The number of children who have access to smartphones and tablets is rapidly growing (Common Sense Media, 2013); however, research is still trying to unpack how digital media affects child learning and caregiver-child interactions. This symposium uses principles from the learning sciences to better understand (1) caregivers' decisions and interactions around children's digital media use and (2) features of digital media, specifically e-books, that may affect children's ability to learn from these sources.

Paper 1 describes how parents approach selection of e-books and other apps, whether they are affected by factors supported by the learning sciences, and the role of others' opinions in parents' decisions. Narrowing in specifically on e-books, Papers 2 and 3 show that reading with a parent and specifically parents' distancing talk during reading, promote learning from e-books. Paper 4 tests a new app designed to encourage these positive dialogic reading practices. Together, these papers reveal the ways in which parents choose to expose their children to content via digital media and how e-books in particular affect child learning. Specifically, the final three papers demonstrate characteristics of quality e-book reading that are important for parents to consider when deciding how their children use e-books and other apps. New digital technologies can be marvelous tools for learning and developmentā€”but only if we know how to use them effectively.

Navigating the world of digital apps: How parents choose apps for young children
Reading in the Digital Age: Investigating differences between traditional and electronic books
  • Brenna Hassinger-Das (Temple University)
  • Neha Mahajan (Temple University)
  • Rachael Metz (Temple University)
  • Kizzann Ramsook (Penn State University)
  • Katherine Margulis (Vanderbilt University)
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University)
  • Roberta Golinkoff (University of Delaware)
The Parent Advantage in Children's E-book Comprehension
  • Rebecca Dore (University of Delaware)
  • Brenna Hassinger-Das (Temple University)
  • Alexis Paller (University of Delaware)
  • Natalie Brezack (University of Chicago)
  • Tara Saunders (University of Delaware)
  • Lien Vu (Temple University)
  • Roberta Golinkoff (University of Delaware)
Read to Me, Talk to Me: An E-Book App that Incorporates Dialogic Questioning
  • Georgene Troseth (Vanderbilt University)
  • Gabrielle Strouse (University of South Dakota)
  • Colleen Russo (Vanderbilt University)