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The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American | reading | Scoop.it

By Ferris Jabr

 

"How exactly does the technology we use to read change the way we read? How reading on screens differs from reading on paper is relevant not just to the youngest among us, but to just about everyone who reads—to anyone who routinely switches between working long hours in front of a computer at the office and leisurely reading paper magazines and books at home; to people who have embraced e-readers for their convenience and portability, but admit that for some reason they still prefer reading on paper; and to those who have already vowed to forgo tree pulp entirely. As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin?"


Via Jim Lerman, Jonathan Jarc, GoogleLitTrips Reading List
Sunflower Foundation's insight:

I think that, given time, our brains will adapt. The generation now in primary school are hardwiring their brains from toddlerhood. But for older readers, my own experience is that while the screen grabs the brain and gets me reading, I don't necessarily read attentively.

It might also increase differences between poor and wealthy as those with access to multiple devices may develop differently to those without. But the jury is still out as to who will have the advantage.

more...
Gordon Shupe's curator insight, April 17, 2013 10:19 AM
I will admit it, I have yet to read an entire novel or non-fiction book (of over a 100 pages) on an electronic device. But that is partly because I don't typically read novels and the non-fiction topics that I am interested in are not yet available in electronic form. But I have read (and do read) comprehend and 'know' a small library's worth of information over the last few years in smaller chunks from the screen of my various devices. I agree with the research and acknowledge the continued need for printed reading skills and materials. But I would also point out that these two formats should not be mutually exclusive, but rather are complimentary. Reading, managing, recalling, citing, validating digital text is quite different from printed text. It may be that printed text is preferable given a certain history/experience/purpose/ or skill set. But there are just as many advantages to electronic texts, and maybe we need to address them as two different important literacies as educators. It reminded me of comments I made when the iPad first came out: http://www.shupester.com/files/iPadDifferent.php iOS / iPad not 'better' but 'good different'?
Pam Colburn Harland's curator insight, April 28, 2013 7:57 AM

I loved the part about mind mapping and the meta-cognitive things we do before we start reading. Great article with research-based facts.

Angela Watkins's curator insight, December 30, 2013 3:23 PM

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/so-the-internets-about-to-lose-its-net-neutrality ... http://angelawatkins57.blogspot.com - http://pinterest.com/angeladwatkins

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Rescooped by Sunflower Foundation from Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
Scoop.it!

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American | reading | Scoop.it

By Ferris Jabr

 

"How exactly does the technology we use to read change the way we read? How reading on screens differs from reading on paper is relevant not just to the youngest among us, but to just about everyone who reads—to anyone who routinely switches between working long hours in front of a computer at the office and leisurely reading paper magazines and books at home; to people who have embraced e-readers for their convenience and portability, but admit that for some reason they still prefer reading on paper; and to those who have already vowed to forgo tree pulp entirely. As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin?"


Via Jim Lerman, Jonathan Jarc, GoogleLitTrips Reading List
Sunflower Foundation's insight:

I think that, given time, our brains will adapt. The generation now in primary school are hardwiring their brains from toddlerhood. But for older readers, my own experience is that while the screen grabs the brain and gets me reading, I don't necessarily read attentively.

It might also increase differences between poor and wealthy as those with access to multiple devices may develop differently to those without. But the jury is still out as to who will have the advantage.

more...
Gordon Shupe's curator insight, April 17, 2013 10:19 AM
I will admit it, I have yet to read an entire novel or non-fiction book (of over a 100 pages) on an electronic device. But that is partly because I don't typically read novels and the non-fiction topics that I am interested in are not yet available in electronic form. But I have read (and do read) comprehend and 'know' a small library's worth of information over the last few years in smaller chunks from the screen of my various devices. I agree with the research and acknowledge the continued need for printed reading skills and materials. But I would also point out that these two formats should not be mutually exclusive, but rather are complimentary. Reading, managing, recalling, citing, validating digital text is quite different from printed text. It may be that printed text is preferable given a certain history/experience/purpose/ or skill set. But there are just as many advantages to electronic texts, and maybe we need to address them as two different important literacies as educators. It reminded me of comments I made when the iPad first came out: http://www.shupester.com/files/iPadDifferent.php iOS / iPad not 'better' but 'good different'?
Pam Colburn Harland's curator insight, April 28, 2013 7:57 AM

I loved the part about mind mapping and the meta-cognitive things we do before we start reading. Great article with research-based facts.

Angela Watkins's curator insight, December 30, 2013 3:23 PM

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/so-the-internets-about-to-lose-its-net-neutrality ... http://angelawatkins57.blogspot.com - http://pinterest.com/angeladwatkins