Digital Texts and Engagement in 2nd Grade
Reading engagement is a necessity for reading instruction. If students are not engaged in their reading, they may not be able to construct meaning. Recent technological advances have allowed people to access texts in electronic form. Based on this new trend in text accessibility via devices, digital texts have the potential to impact students’ reading engagement compared to reading texts in traditional print. Existing research has contradicting effects identified between the link among digital texts and engagement. Therefore, this action research study examined the effects that digital texts have on the reading engagement of second grade students. During the study, students first read print texts during independent reading time. Then, students read digital texts on iPads using an application (app) called epic!. An engagement inventory, a pre- and post-survey, and a small group interview were completed to measure the reading engagement of second graders. Results indicate that engagement increased with students’ access to digital texts.