Reading vs Print Reading: Emerging Research
have experienced a huge influx of digital learning tools
in recent years, with nearly one in three public and private
school students in the US now using a school-issued mobile
computing device, such as a laptop or digital tablet. Over
the same time period, all but a handful of states have adopted
common academic standards that call upon students to master
increasingly complex texts.
The convergence of those trends has helped spark renewed
interest in decades of study of the merits of reading on
a screen versus in print. Researchers now say that while
many digital texts do a good job of motivating and engaging
young people, such texts also pose a number of problems.
The articles below explore this issue and suggest a possible
Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper
suggests that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages.
This Scientific American article explains
how the brain interprets written language and asks an
important question: How exactly does the technology we
use to read change the way we read?
Studies in the past two decades indicate that people often
understand and remember text on paper better than on a
screen. Screens may inhibit comprehension by preventing
people from intuitively navigating and mentally mapping
long texts. In general, screens are also more cognitively
and physically taxing than paper.
Preliminary research suggests that even so-called digital
natives are more likely to recall the gist of a story
when they read it on paper because enhanced e-books and
e-readers themselves are too distracting. Paper's greatest
strength may be its simplicity.
Voice Concern Over E-Books' Effect on Reading Comprehension
A research team from West Chester University presented
two studies as part of the annual conference of the American
Educational Research Association.
The first study found that a small sample of students comprehended
traditional books at "a much higher level" than
they comprehended the same material when read on an iPad,
said Heather Schugar, an assistant education professor at
the university. The
second study found that while students in 18 classrooms were
"highly motivated by their interactions" with interactive
e-books created using Apple's iBooks Author software, they
"often skipped over text, where the meat of the information
Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students
is a need to minimize the distracting bells and whistles that
abound in high-tech instructional materials.
tension between digital reading's tendency to foster increased
engagement, but discourage deeper comprehension is presenting
a massive new challenge for schools, said Andrew Dillon, the
dean of the school of information at the University of Texas
at Austin. "There's been this huge push from tech companies
to get their stuff into classrooms, but that's purely a commercial
venture," he said. "There are real consequences
for the types of serious reading people can do in those [digital]
a result, some observers fear that mobile devices, especially
digital tablets as they are now being used in the classroom,
are not supporting the kinds of extended, rich interactions
with text called for in the Common Core State Standards."People
think of technology as the solution, but it's often the cause
of the problem," Mr. Dillon said. "It's not the
end of reading, but it is the diminution or simplification
Tackling the Limits of
screens' flat glass surfaces can hinder close reading and
accurate typing. People flipping through electronic pages
often retain less of what they read than on printed ones.
And typing on a flat surface with no physical keys to guide
the fingers requires heightened visual attention to avoid
typos, draining concentration from the thoughts being expressed.
Companies are trying to address these problems with new tools
adapted from the analog world of three-dimensional typewriter
keys, tactile paper pages, and pop quizzes on the blackboard.
problem with touch screens transitory images is that
they dont help students create a mental map of what
theyve read and whats to come. To
help with this problem, Sangtae Kim, Jaejeung Kim and Soobin
Lee of the Institute for Information Technology Convergence
at Kaist, a South Korean university, have built a prototype
for a touch-screen interface that lets students flip through
e-book pages as they would though a paper book. On the left
side, students can see all the pages theyve read; on
the right are the pages that remain. Students can hold a page
in view while scanning the contents and cross-referencing
Sixty Years After Brown, Latino Students Are
Most Segregated, Report Says
Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic group in the
United States, are now the most segregated students in public
schools, a trend that is especially prominent in large suburban
communities that have undergone dramatic demographic change,
a new report from civil rights researchers concludes
report also emphasizes that segregation in public schools now
strongly reflects not only racial and ethnic separation, but
isolation by family income.
Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University
and the Brookings Institution. The mission of the Future of
Children is to translate the best social science research about
children and youth into information that is useful to policymakers,
practitioners, grant-makers, advocates, the media, and students
of public policy.
The latest volume is entitled Helping Parents, Helping Children:
Two-Generation Mechanisms and it considers the continuing
problem that, despite decades of efforts to give them a leg
up through preschool and other early-childhood initiatives,
children from poor families still show up for kindergarten far
behind children from wealthier families, and they fall further
behind during the school years. Many people think that two-generation
programs, which serve parents and children simultaneously with
high-quality interventions, can be more effective (and perhaps
more efficient) than programs that serve them individually.
This issue assesses past and current two-generation programs.
But it goes much further than that. The editors identified six
widely acknowledged mechanisms or pathways through which parents,
and the home environment they create, are thought to influence
childrens development: stress, education, health, income,
employment, and assets.
of Children Website
objectives of the Center
for Applied Linguistics are to improve the teaching
of English as a second or foreign language, to promote the
teaching of the less commonly taught languages, and to conduct
research that will enhance the educational process.
The CAL website provides a series of "CALdigests,"
free short reports that synthesize current research andhighlight
topics of interest covering a variety of subjects. One of the
newest digests looks at using singable books as a simple, cost-effective
way to combine the benefits of reading childrens literature
aloud and singing. Singable books, picture books that use a
song as the text, are inherently interactive and appealing to
children. The digest includes a list of recommended books and
activities for students in grades pre-K - 12.
2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization
supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Its mission is to improve
understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle
Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation. The Center does
not advocate for or take positions on policy issues. It is a
project of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank"
in Washington, DC, that provides information on the issues,
attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.
The Pew Hispanic
Center recently published When Labels Dont Fit:
Hispanics and their Views of Identity. The report was
based on a new nationwide survey that found most Hispanics dont
embrace the term Hispanic. And even fewer prefer
the term Latino.
Pew Hispanic Center
Hispanic Center Facebook page
Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan,
non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the
nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and
policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal,
and other impacts of immigration on the United States. It is
the Center's mission to expand the base of public knowledge
and understanding of the need for an immigration policy that
gives first concern to the broad national interest. The Center
is animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which
seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.
LANGUAGE LEARNING & TECHNOLOGY
An online refereed journal
that seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second language
educators, Language Learning
& Technology focuses on language learning first
and considers technology a tool to be used wisely and effectively.
CMMR is an organized research unit at the University of Southern
California, facilitating the research collaboration, dissemination
and professional development activities of faculty, students,
and others across the School of Education, university community
and outside organizations.
CMMR web site provides dozens of links to current research
on topics of interest to ESL educators.