Reich is a community psychologist studying contexts that support children’s development. Her research focuses on children’s direct and technologically mediated interactions with family, peers, and educational settings. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society for Community Research and Action. Reich is director of UCI's Development in Social Context Lab (DISC).
Young children are introduced to mobile technology at an early age, with many using touchscreens daily. One appeal of touchscreen technology is that it seems to be intuitive for very young children. As a result, many children's e‐books are designed for tablets rather than for e‐readers or computers. E‐books often contain hotspots—interactive areas children can press to receive immediate auditory or visual feedback. This study assessed whether children's (N = 76, aged 3–5 years) interactions with hotspots increased their engagement with reading when using an e‐book independently and how such interactions were related to their learning from the story. Our results suggested that interacting with hotspots enhanced children's emotional engagement and sustained visual attention but not verbal engagement. Interacting with hotspots also benefited children's recall of story elements relevant to the hotspot but not their overall comprehension of the story. These findings inform the design and use of touchscreen media in early childhood.