In what can only be good news for Apple’s iBookstore (which will almost certainly be part of Apple’s education announcement/s tomorrow) and other ebook vendors,  a recent study indicates that children who read books on digital e-readers such as the iPad and Kindle comprehend what they’ve read as well as children who read paper books.

The report “Student Comprehension of Books in Kindle and Traditional Formats,” was released by Michael Milone, Ph.D., for Renaissance Learning, a leading provider of technology-based school improvement and student assessment programs for K12 schools. Results of the study indicate that parents and educators can rest easy knowing that students comprehend books they read digitally as well as they comprehend books read in a print format.

In this study, fourth-grade students were asked to read books selected from a list of popular fiction titles. Students then alternated between options, reading approximately 50 percent of the books on the Kindle and 50%of the books in a bound, printed format. After reading each book, participants completed a brief, computer-based Accelerated Reader Quiz to measure their understanding. The study concluded there is no statistically significant difference in reading comprehension levels.

Students correctly answered an average of 88% of questions about books read on the Kindle. The average percentage of questions answered correctly for print books was 88.5.

“Electronic reading devices are rapidly increasing in popularity, both for personal use and in education, and we expect the trend to grow,” says Renaissance Learning Chief Executive Officer Glenn R. James. “As more schools and districts begin to incorporate e-readers into the curriculum, it is important to better understand how students comprehend books read digitally compared with print books. The results of this study confirm that every book read, in any format, is another step toward higher student achievement.”

To read the full report, visit .

— Dennis Sellers