Reading as a Social Act

Thursday, March 24, 2016 Comment young girl reading book while standing in front of other books

It’s commonly acknowledged that writing is a social act. What does it mean to write online? When we write in the digital age, we are writing to share and to connect. But, what about the act of reading? I open this reflection by quoting myself from a prior DML post: These days, the role of the reader is much like the role of the learner (in a 21st century digitized context). I see a kind of inherent transformation in both of these roles. Reading used to be a more solitary act, bound to a private and

The Reader in Digital Humanities

Monday, February 09, 2015 Comment man reading book in subway terminal

The Reader in Paradise Lost DIgital Humanities  When Stanley Fish wrote his magnificent treatise on the role of the reader in John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, he was making an argument that the real fallen angel, lost in sin, in Milton’s retelling of the Christian myth, was the reader. Fish argued that the epic was not about Satan or Adam or Eve, but about the reader, who was taught the lesson, every time s/he was attracted to the poetic splendour or to Satan or dismayed by the cruel acts of God. Fish successfully argued, that the reader was

Potential and Pitfalls of Digital Reading Platforms for Connected Learning

Thursday, October 09, 2014 Comment human shadow of boys face made of words

At the recent Tech for Schools Summit hosted by EdSurge at the USC Rossier School of Education, organizers promised that the event was designed “for educators by educators” and that attendees would “gain exposure to cutting edge tech tools.” I arrived with an interest in learning more about the ways that education technology tools are marketed to teachers and the extent to which these tools offered teachers opportunities to customize Connected Learning experiences for their students. While the daylong event included a keynote address, a student presentation, and 3-minute pitches from some of the start-ups in

Reading Comprehension: Paper or Screen?

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Comment above shot of women working at cluttered work desk papers computer books everywhere

In a recent post, I critiqued the claims in Ferris Jabr’s Scientific American article, “Why the Brain Prefers Paper” that addressed the differences in comprehension between reading from paper and reading from screens. Where Jabr argues that screen reading limits comprehension, I show how his analysis focused only on certain kinds of screen reading, ignoring features of digital texts that challenge his claims. I also looked at some of the research Jabr cites, showing how the results of that research didn’t support his particular arguments. In this post, I want to take another look at that

How Does Electronic Reading Affect Comprehension?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 Comment people sitting in seats on subway

Although electronic texts have been with us for many decades, in the past few years electronic reading has become increasingly popular. The ready availability of mobile, connected devices like smartphones and tablets, along with dedicated ereaders like the Kindle and Nook, have moved electronic reading out from behind a desk into the environment. This change has brought increasing attention to the differences between reading in print and reading via digital devices. In a recent article in Scientific American, Ferris Jabr argues that “paper still has advantages over screens as a reading medium,” claiming that “most studies

Are We in Danger of Losing Sight of Urban Schools and their Libraries?

Monday, March 11, 2013 Comment hand grabbing old book from bookshelf titled wind sand and stars Antoine De Saint

The rhetoric around libraries today is largely filled with enthusiasm in the digital media and learning world. And it probably should be: YOUmedia, makerspaces, and expanding digital opportunities for young people to learn and to grow are happening every day. However, right now, I have a problem with libraries. More specifically, I have a problem with libraries in urban schools. A Bit of Background To say the library at the school I worked at in South Central Los Angeles faced challenges would be too gracious. One year, for example, the staff was greeted with the welcomed