Teenagers are certainly engaged by screens but not necessarily for reading. The result of our poll says that 50% of teenagers would probably read more on e-books as they get very engaged by screens, while 25% acknowledge they would probably get distracted and 25% prefer paper books.
We currently have 2 Kindles available for loan in the library. They are constantly issued! For students struggling with reading, they are great as the font size can be chosen and most e-books can also be read aloud. We plan to get more e-readers.
This article describes how e-books can motivate young non-readers and reluctant readers into reading and lead them to paper books too. http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissuecurrentissue/890540-427/are_ebooks_any_good.html.csp
A study http://www.fluency21.com/blogpost.cfm?blogID=2298 compared reading behaviour, text comprehension, and information recall from ebooks, tablet PC and paper. The results show it is equivalent, except reading is faster on a Tablet PC !
Other researchers however point out the lack of spacial navigation cues on the e-books (and on the Internet in general) that could impact the way our brain develops and reactivates memory http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/this-is-your-brain-on-ebooks/ As we are guinea pigs in this space, it is worthwhile checking and questioning regularly the impacts of the technologies on our well-being. In this case, I would argue, if we keep a balanced life of enjoying the outdoors, as we do in Wanaka, we’ll be safe.
Conclusion is that the most important technology is still “READING”!