I am always interested in research that gives me real information about opinions I have formed based on anecdotal evidence. For example, I read an article in The New Yorker yesterday about the nature of online reading. I had blogged about some of the issues years ago*, and had concluded that the problems or benefits would continue to evolve. I’m glad serious people are devoting time to the changing relationship between text and people.
If you are a teacher in a school going through a digital conversion**, you might want to take a look at the article. There are lots of ideas to think about. For example:
- kids must be taught to read differently because comprehension and retention seem to be closely related to self-control (This is the part that goes immediately back to my old blog post linked above)
- kids who are avid gamers seem to deal better with on-screen distractions
- all readers, young and old, need to make a conscious effort to read rather than skim. This one seems to be more of a problem with scrolling as opposed to flipping digital pages.
- sometimes it might be a good idea to take a device offline when reading lengthy texts
*Why am I surprised that I can say “years ago” when I refer to a blog post I wrote? I guess before coming to Goochland I never thought I’d ever do any writing. Now I have eight years worth of blog posts and three books. I’m so thankful to have this ongoing record of my work and reflections.
**I’m not fond of this term since, to me, it says we are taking all the old stuff, making PDFs, and not really changing how we do school.