Soon you could read all 309 pages of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in under 77 minutes. Yes, you.
To get through it that quickly (a pace of 1,000 words a minute) you'll have to use an about-to-be released app and forgo the ide...
|Scooped by GoogleLitTrips Reading List|
28 February 2014
I took an Evelyn Woods speed reading course some 40 years ago. I don't know if it was a result of my having inherited Strabismus (the fancy word for being cross-eyed) or not. but it sort of worked, for awhile anyway.
Though it could have been what I've come to know as symptoms associated with ADHD. I've always had a "wandering mind" which in those days was generally wrapped in the indefensible "Jerome has trouble paying attention."
Ironically, I've come to the realization that although I always accepted the "wrongness" of my alternate attentiveness, it was and continues to be more of a "hyper attentiveness." A teacher might say something in passing that caught my attention in such a way that I'd lock onto the comment and automatically start thinking about it and rolling the idea around in my mind sort of like a little kid intrigued by a rolly polly bug. Time would "stop" as I simply tinkered with whatever it was that I had found intriguing and then where ever it was that that intrigue took me.
And then, usually, moments or minutes later in the back of my consciousness a sort of "distant echoey sound" snapped me out of that pleasant mental meandering.
"Jerome! are you paying attention!" and I'd shake my head In a fashion very similar to the way kids try to shake the sleepy bugs out of their minds upon first awakening from a pleasant dream and realize that for however long the contemplation had been, it had been wrapped in a body that appeared to be sitting in some sort of glazed posture appearing to be staring out of the window.instead of "sitting up straight and concentrating on what the teacher was saying as I should have been."
I was a reader early on. My parents attempted to be diligent about what I wasn't allowed to read (aka comic books). it wasn't confrontational. I accepted their judgment, but did enjoy reading my friends' comic books when the chance arose.
I was a "good" reader, but a slow reader. The family had driven the 20 mile round trip to the library once or twice a week for as long as I could remember. I'd come home with as many as six or seven chapter books and be eager to decide which one I'd start first. Yet I was a slow reader, not hesitant; not reluctant, not struggling. Just slow as in eating a delicious meal slowly to postpone the inevitability of sooner or later reaching the last bite of a good meal or a delicious story.
The only pacing guide in my personal reading was the "DUE DATE" card the library placed in checked out books. But even that did not force me to read fast as I was perfectly aware of the fact that any book I'd checked out but not gotten around to reading could simply be re-checked out on our next trip to the library.
Eventually the pressure at school to "get through" the reading assignment, engaging or not, led me to the discovery of skimming, and in history, now a favorite subject but not so much then, to discovering that reading the bold text and first sentence following the bold text was generally sufficient to be able to appear as though I'd read the assignment during the next day's class discussion.
And, though I never shared it with friends, I knew this was "cheating" so I would often make the attempt to "really do the reading." And, I kept it a secret that I would often find myself in the middle of a paragraph realizing that though I had actually read every page to that point, that I would "wake up" in much the same fashion as I had when a teacher snapped me out of my "staring out the window" days in earlier grades, and I'd realize that I had read, but in some bizarre way also not paid any attention to what I was reading. I'd re-read the paragraph and wonder what it was about and find myself flipping backwards in pages looking for the last thing I remembered having read. Sometimes it was several pages.
It wasn't until much later that I discovered that this is not an uncommon phenomenon among my students.
You may have suspected for awhile, that this blog itself seems to only have a distant connection to the scooped article. But, that's sort of how it has always been. Reading "A" does not always lead to reading "B" then "C" and so on. Reading "A" often leads to discovering some sort of connection in an interest in thinking about "B" and "infinity" and "$%$#^" and a "vacation memory."
So, back to the article. we've all contemplated the distinctions between paper-based reading and digital reading. My position has been to suggest that this is a false issue in many ways and the tug-o-war between the opposing proponents can be much more harmful than helpful.
As I read this article, being fairly-pro technology, my mind began meandering around the "other" reading issues.
Would this be good for getting through important reading when time is short and important reading is much and a must?
Would this be good for keeping up with pacing guides accepted as being by default a good thing whether or not they also have a down side?
Would this be good when broad attentiveness to important and trivial issues and trends of the day "require" that we live faster even if that causes us to read less deeply?
Would this allow us to attend to more (as in quantity) important issues than we might have been able to attend to in the past?
And, what about the "slow movement" ( see this TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness.html: and this website: http://www.slowmovement.com that has become a counter movement to today's faster and faster "self=imposed pacing guide requirements that we often feel necessary for a successful life?
There is without a (current) doubt, a need to get more done and to clear one's obligation plate more efficiently. We can not expect to live successfully in the 21st century without getting more accomplished more often on more fronts.
Yet there is also a need to allow more time to discover, to appreciate, to marinate in contemplation and consideration.
So I'm neither condemning nor endorsing the technological "advance" offered by this article.
But, I'd like to turn this comment into a rhetorical or real request.
I have to assume that the length of this comment probably triggered at least a few immediate "Interesting maybe, but I don't have time to read this comment" abandonments; some immediate; others somewhere into the comments.
So I'm placing this request at the end of the article as a data/opinion collection effort.
If you choose to accept the requests, please leave a comment regarding...
REQUEST ONE: What benefits and drawbacks might there be in using this technology in education, particularly in the area of effective efforts to meet "the standards"?
REQUEST TWO: Try to go out of your way, now or very soon to watch the TED Talk linked to above.It is nineteen minutes long, but well worth watching.
By the way, if you haven't discovered this yet. TED Talks not only can show the transcript (think Informational Reading!) but while reading the transcript, clicking on any phrase automatically jumps to that point in the video above.
Now, I'll probably get back to the ton of work I was supposed to get done today because I didn't get it done yesterday, knowing full well that I'll probably be checking the Facebook, Scoop-it, Twitter, and LinkedIn sites where links to this post have been published every 5 minutes or so just to see if there are any comments!
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