A Typology for Observing Children’s Engagement with eBooks at Preschool
This research reports a two-phase descriptive study of young children’s engagement with ebooks conducted in Head Start classrooms. Phase 1 focused on the development of a typology as an analytic framework for observing engagement with ebooks in different formats (shared book; independent book browsing) and across devices (stationary touch screen; handhelds). Converging extant research categories with videotaped observations of ebook reading from classroom samples (n=12 children), a typology was derived using qualitative analytic procedures. It consisted of three categories (control, multisensory behaviors, communication) and 11 salient behaviors of children’s engagement with ebooks. Phase 2 applied the typology to a comparable classroom sample (n=24 children) to obtain descriptive observations of children’s engagement with ebooks in teacher-led ebook reading at the touch screen and child-led ebook browsing/reading with handheld devices (iPad; iPod). Potential influences of behavioral regulation levels on children’s engagement with ebooks were also explored. Results supported the typology as a fairly reliable and manageable framework for analytic purposes of description and enumeration, yielding descriptive evidence of children’s engagement with ebooks in the sample. In brief, control varied with format, which in turn influenced the distribution of multisensory behaviors and types of communication. Level of behavioral regulation influenced control.