Time-on-task during independent reading: the effect of the use of iPads on student accountability and time-on-task
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Independent reading within the classroom literacy block is an important aspect of learning to read and may be effective if the time is used well. With the introduction of new literacies due to access to e-readers, iPods, iPads, tablets and books on computers, independent reading is changing. The purpose of this study was to examine time-on-task during independent reading time in a second grade classroom with paper books compared to time-on-task with e-readers. Students were given a pre and post-study reading attitude survey. Students were observed during independent reading during their regular classroom literacy block while reading paper books. iPads were later introduced as an option for reading during this independent time. A comparison of the results indicated that student's time-on-task did not increase with the iPads, however, the time spent reading increased. While students may be engaged with the features available on e-readers, there needs to be more research to determine the effects, positive or negative, on literacy learning. Further research was conducted in a third grade class to determine if student accountability for their independent reading time would increase their time-on-task. Overall the students in this group were on task. Appropriately-leveled reading material seemed to increase time-on-task more than the accountability requirement for these readers.