This paper uses analysis from the longitudinal Competent Children/Learners project that shows substantial television use at earlier ages can weaken children's literacy development at age 10.
It explores the reasons why this might be so in terms of the patterns of children's time use, and research on the visual nature of television and the language and narrative forms it uses. Relations between age-10 children's current and previous use of computers and their reading comprehension levels was less marked.
Television viewing time competed with reading time for some children; but there was less competition between computer use and reading.
Paper presented at the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) conference, Christchurch, 6-9 December 2001.