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Students May Absorb Less Content When Reading Online

Students May Absorb Less When Reading Online

It seems that as more reading moves online, the less students seem to understand what they read. 

Maryanne Wolf drew this interesting conclusion based on research and anecdotal information. She is the author of Proust and the Squid, which examines the history of the science and development of the brain from the beginning of time to the 21st century.

A New Yorker article discussing the phenomenon cited students' growing "cut and paste chart mentality," whereby they seem to be missing crucial details about what they read. As we turn to online reading, the physiology of the reading process "shifts," said the article. Experiences, such as turning the page of a physical book, change. The contrast of pixels, layout of words, method of scrolling down the page, and other factors also change, affecting how readers absorb the content. 

"The screen, for one, seems to encourage more skimming behavior: when we scroll, we tend to read more quickly (and less deeply) than when we move sequentially from page to page," the article said. "Online, the tendency is compounded as a way of coping with an overload of information."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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