In 2016, the Australian Teenagers’ Reading in the Digital Era Project team (led by Deakin University) ran a pilot project towards an ongoing program of research. In 2018, the team received an Australian Copyright Agency Cultural Fund grant to expand this research.
To date the research group has:
- Conducted a scoping study, published in early 2017.
- Conducted a pilot project in two states on adolescents’ reading practices using digital platforms and texts, funded by Deakin University and the Cultural Fund of the Copyright Agency.
- Been affiliated as a Research Group with Deakin’s Strategic Research Centre, Research for Educational Impact (REDI).
- Established relations with partners and stakeholders with a professional interest in this topic.
- There is a clear link between reading for pleasure and school and later work outcomes.
- Teenagers are reading, but their reading choices are diverse, and mediated by cultural contexts, social influences, place, conditions of access, as well as individual factors.
- Two factors characterize changes in reading practices: increased dependence on digital technologies, together with the social turn in reading, involving the collaborative selection of and advice about texts. But it is by no means certain that avid readers prefer digital texts, and some devices change the nature of immersion in reading.
- Recreational reading faces increased narrative competition from screen texts, and thus literary, screen and online fandoms overlap. This has implications for Australian literature and literary culture.
- There also appears to be little Australian research on genre preferences in long-form reading (books) or the effects of author or publisher interactions with readers.
- Survey research dominates studies of teen reading, which suggests that there is a need for richer qualitative research projects that will better account for the various kinds of reading.
- We lack Australian studies of reading for various purposes in different geographical locations and social environments. Diverse contexts affect reading preferences, practices, access and impacts on adolescents’ reading choices.
A brief Snapshot Report of findings were circulated to participating schools and stakeholders. Snapshot Report March 2017