Revision [9094]

This is an old revision of FinalProjectDMN made by DanielleNicholson on 2018-04-25 21:05:32.


Final Project

Further Thoughts on Digital vs. Print Reading

Danielle Nicholson

After reading "The Deep Space of Digital Reading" by La Farge and taking notes on it, I was especially intrigued by the idea of comparing digital and print reading. After reading La Farge's article, I came to the conclusion that digital reading can expand our humanity and is, overall, beneficial for society. Personally, both print and digital reading work well for me in various situations. I was very interested in the content of the article and thought it would be interesting to read -- digitally -- a few different (new) perspectives on the issue.

From the higher education perspective, an article by Sharon O'Malley titled "There's No Easy Answer," includes the opinion of Wayne Kobylinski, an English professor from Anne Arundel Community College. He believes students should be able to choose between digital and print. Kobylinksi says his students "feel printed material "carries more of a sense of gravitas" than digital. "That makes sense for college students. Kobylinski seems to think that since students (myself included) are constantly reading on digital communication platforms and social media, reading in print makes the content and the act feel more important. Digital reading is a bit easier to write off. Professor Jody Donovan from Colorado State University says her graduate students "overwhelmingly prefer "everything electronic. They don't want a hard copy of anything. Donovan also believes her online students refer more to digital readings than her face-to-face students refer to print readings in class. However, despite convenience and preference, Donovan is not sure how to actually improve comprehension through digital reading. Students haven't necessarily been trained to do that. I think this could be due to the current generation of those in higher education not being directly exposed to technology at a very young age. Most of us still remember landlines with cords, gigantic cell phones, and monstrous desktop computers. We did not grow up navigating and reading on iPads in the classroom, so there could be a comprehension curve. I think my generation mostly has quick learners when it comes to technology, but that is not the case for everyone, and that does not necessarily change the ways our brains have developed and will continue to develop.

From the popular culture perspective, Ferris Jabr's article "The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens" uses an example of a one-year-old girl first using an iPad with surprising dexterity and then being given a magazine, which she tried to navigate simply bu touch as if it was an iPad. Although Jabr acknowledges that one-year-olds touch whatever they can get their hands on, and perhaps the child did not fully comprehend what she was doing, it still provides an interesting study. Jabr says, "Today's so-called digital natives still interact with a mix of paper magazines and books, as well as tablets, smartphones and e-readers; using one kind of technology does not preclude them from understanding another." People use different types of reading materials for different purposes. According to the article, "Studies published since the early 1990s ... have found few significant differences in reading speed or comprehension between paper and screens." Interesting. What's also interesting is that Jabr's article also mentions that many people, not just students, approach paper reading with more reverence than digital reading. For students, however, there are some links between handwritten notes and retention. Jabr also mentions that words on paper have a more familiar topography; a sort of physical form that's more concrete, easier to remember, and more conducive to reference. There's also more control.
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