Friday, August 1, 2008

NYTimes: R U Really Reading?

There's a heated debate among educators, academics, and others about how literacy is evolving in our digital age. They are trying to determine if and how people's reading ability and comprehension (not to mention our thought processes) are adapting to the nearly constant distractions of text messages, blogs, cell phones, YouTube videos, etc. This long, but very interesting New York Times article explores the issue from several vantages...and to my mind, is a bit more positive than other articles I've read.
Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?

...As teenagers’ scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading — diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books.

But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write.

Even accomplished book readers like Zachary Sims, 18, of Old Greenwich, Conn., crave the ability to quickly find different points of view on a subject and converse with others online. Some children with dyslexia or other learning difficulties, like Hunter Gaudet, 16, of Somers, Conn., have found it far more comfortable to search and read online. (Link to entire article.)

No comments: