This week, the most important international congress on education organized by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is taking place in Chicago. There we interviewed Lalo Salmerón, who received great news for being awarded for one of the latest research projects he participated in along with a team of researchers from the University of Valencia.

1) Could you give us a brief presentation of the awarded research? How can this contribution help education professionals?

The awarded research is part of a more global project in which we investigate the effects of the digitization of reading. Specifically, the paper analyzes the relationships between the time that students aged 10 and 14 spend working with digital tools in the language class, and their reading comprehension. We also analyze what role the different activities used by teachers play to foster reading comprehension with digital tools. We found that the greater the use of digital tools in the classroom, the lower the understanding of the students. Most teacher activities do not overcome this association, except for the use of ‘reading projects’ in which students read on the Internet to answer a motivating question.

2) Could you briefly explain the relevance of this award and in what context it is awarded?

The prize is awarded by the NAEPS study interest group (the database we use for analysis, similar to PISA, in the North American context) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest scientific association on education in the world. The prize is awarded annually to the best scientific contribution from among those using the NAEPS database. We received the award last Thursday, April 14, at the AERA annual conference that is being held in Chicago.

3) What three key aspects would you highlight that have helped, in your research trajectory, to achievements like this one?

The main key aspect was having a great work team from the ERI-Lectura (interdisciplinary research structure on reading) of the University of Valencia that has allowed us to advance in the project, including colleagues Cristina Vargas and Pablo Delgado, as well as colleague Naomi Baron from the American University of USA. The Spanish Research Agency, which has financed the project, and the National Center for Education Statistics of the USA, which gave us access to the NAEPS database.