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Whats Wrong With Online Reading


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Thanks in part to efficient search engines such as Google, on-line reading has become for many the primary way that people read. This talk will discuss how a wide range of research in web usability, psychology, education, and communication theory provides corroborating evidence that on-line reading is transforming cognition, learning, and the very nature of knowledge in some disturbing ways.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Hi Randy, '64 was clearly a good year! I'm also pleased that it meant we grew up in an era where having an encyclopaedia at home was a must for any discerning family, and we could develop a love for books which will surely be lost to many of the new generations.
    As an aside I may, as time permits, take a look at the many other SlideShares you've posted. Thank you for the wealth of material you're shared with the world - something that would not have been so straightforward when we were at school, so the brave new world is most definitely a double-edged sword.
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  • @IanHunneybell -- sorry for the delay as I don't check for new comments very often, but thank you for your considered and insightful comments, and I must admit that I agree with you ... maybe because I was also born in 1964! :-)
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  • Hello Randy,
    I'm coming a little late to the (slide)show but here I am (born in 1964) agreeing wholeheartedly with you that the nature of absorbing information has changed radically. Now armed with an iPhone, Kindle, iPad and laptop, and access to a vast gamut of information, I try hard to revert to the printed word for absorbing real knowledge, while I use my online aids to help to quickly fill small gaps in my knowledge.

    I am far less distracted when reading a book than I am while online where there is so much to take your focus away from the task at hand.

    I also find the absolute nature of the printed word, with physical and visual feedback, turned corners, bookmark, slips of paper, far more effective than using a Kindle.

    I am also increasingly finding that while a five year old book may just be outdated, a fifty-year old book is actually a window on the way the world was viewed at that point in history, so even musty old books give me something that I cannot get online.

    The truth has to be somewhere in between, but online and printed each have their place and understanding that and not having both feet in one camp (be they luddites or fashionistas) is vitally important. Or maybe it's just because I was born into this cutover time? I would like to think it's because I'm objective but am becoming old and wise enough to realise I am not always right!
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  • Martien, I do agree with you ... I think potential distractions on a computer or an iPad play a very important role in our tendency to scan. I've been struggling to come up with a way to test that hypothesis experimentally.
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  • Elfie, I must admit I am a bit of a fast-whatever consumer, both the food variety and the web variety, so I certainly shouldn't be pointing fingers LOL. I find I'm not so worried about people born, say, before 1990, who had a foundation created with paper reading. I do feel a lot more worried about my children and my students. The difference in my students' willingness to read anything now in comparison to ten years ago is very dramatic. Thanks again so much for your comments!
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Whats Wrong With Online Reading

  1. 1. What sWhat’swrongwithonline lireading?May 2010
  2. 2. AND
  3. 3. Young “digital natives”possess sophisticatedIT basedIT-based skills …… and education needsto change to meet them them.
  4. 4. “It’s not what you know that It s really counts; it’s how y y ; you navigate in the digital world, and what you do with the information you discover” y “Net Geners, immersed in digital technology, are keen to try new things, often at high speed. They want school to be fun and interesting.”Don Tapscott, grown up digital (McGraw Hill, 2009), p. 135
  5. 5. New reading?
  6. 6. “Books are machines for transmitting authority”… authority … while h hil hypertext “ b i l t t “obviously creates empowered readers” readersG.P. Landlow, Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology (John Hopkins Press, 1997)
  7. 7. Hypertext encourages “metacognitive yp g g awareness that recognizes alternate forms of organization for information” … g and “offers the opportunity to extend literacy skills – such as associative logic, visual rhetoric and interactivity.”M. Sorapure et al, “Web literacy: Challenges and opportunities for research in a new medium,” Computers and Composition 15 (1998)Burbles and Callister, “Knowledge at the cross‐roads: Some alternative futures of hypertext learning environments, Education Theory 46 (1996)
  8. 8. HoweverHowever
  9. 9. These claims “h Th l i “have been subjected to little critical scrutiny, are scrutiny under theorized, and lack a sound empirical p basis.”Sue Bennett et al, “The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence,” British Journal of Educational Technology 39 (2007)
  10. 10. Discuss how recent research in webusability, psychology, physiology, cognitivescience,science political science media studies science, studies,and education provides a great deal ofcorroborating evidence thatonline reading is notnearly as g y good as it seems
  11. 11. “Reading is the key intellectual and g y cultural foundation of literate societies, societies and the fundamental activity of scholars … …yet we hhave li l k little knowledge l d of how the way we experience information is modified in new media environments.”Claire Warwick et al, “Codex Redux: Books and New Knowledge Environments,” Books Online ‘08 (October 2008)
  12. 12. In fact, the evidence convinces methat is dth t it i downright i htdangerousfor our cognitive powersandfor the future of democratic society society.
  13. 13. It all beganwith myfather …… and his Alzheimer’s Alzheimer s
  14. 14. about f g tti g, b t forgettingabo t concentrating,aboutabout sustained reading b t
  15. 15. Then I read somethingthat reduced myanxiety…
  16. 16. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the g web or in print.” pNicholas Carr, “Is Google making Us Stoopid,” The Atlantic (July/August 2008)
  17. 17. According to survey data: “an overwhelming majority of an academics (64 per cent) [claim they] are not reading as deeply and reflectively as they used to.” yHeather Menzies and Janice Newson, “No Time to Think?” Academic Matters (Winter 2006)
  18. 18. “Instead the majority Instead, indicated, they are skimming sources for useful bits of information. information ”Heather Menzies and Janice Newson, “No Time to Think?” Academic Matters (Winter 2006)
  19. 19. What b tWh t about
  20. 20. Five ThingsWrongwith onlinereading di
  21. 21. Comprehension p
  22. 22. Readingstudies
  23. 23. “young people scan online pages veryrapidly ( y especially) and click p y (boys p y)extensively on hyperlinks – rather thanreading sequentially … they tend tomove rapidly from page to page,spending little time reading ordigesting information.”I. Rowlands and D. Nicholas, Information Behavior of the Researcher of the Future (2008)
  24. 24. “our empirical study seems to indicate … that hypertext degrades the q yp g quality y of reader’s engagement during reading. reading ”David S. Miall and Teresa Dobson, “Reading hypertext and the experience of literature,” Journal of Digital Information 2 (2001)
  25. 25. “hypertext presentation resulted in a lower comprehension p p performance.”Rouet et al, “Effects of online reading on popular science comprehension,” Science Communication 25 (2) 2003.
  26. 26. Readers with low domain knowledge comprehend significantly better with p g y highly coherent texts (books). Readers with high domain knowledge comprehend significantly better with low coherent texts (i.e., hypertext).L. Salmeron et al, “Reading Strategies and Hypertext Comprehension,” Discourse Processess 40 (2005)
  27. 27. “the net total effect of the web is actually to reduce learning compared y g p to print presentation.”Eveland and Dunwoody, “An investigation of elaboration and selective scanning as mediators of learning from the web versus print,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 46 (1) 2002.
  28. 28. In a longitudinal study comparing digital literacy in 2002 and 2009 across generations: Improvements in technical li I i h i l literacy amongst the older cohorts h ld h Big decreases in tasks requiring creative and critical thinking amongst younger cohorts“For the“F th more critical and creative skills … iti l d ti killexperience and exposure to [online]information seem t hi f ti to have a negative effect ti ff ton the user’s performance.”Eshet‐Alkalai, “Changes over time in Digital Literacy,” CyberPsychology & Behavior 12 (6) 2009
  29. 29. Both user control theory and structural isomorphism theory ( (communication/learning theories) g ) predicted that reading comprehension g p would be improved online in comparison to p p print.Eveland and Dunwoody, “User Control and Structural Isomorphism or Disorientation and Cognitive Load,” Communication Research 28 (1) 2001.
  30. 30. didn’t thi happen?did ’t this h ?
  31. 31. ScanningScanning
  32. 32. Usability experts have observedthat over past 5-6 yearsthe nature of web usagehas dramatically changed.
  33. 33. Most web usage hasswitched from Surfing toInformation Foraging 39
  34. 34. Information fI f i foragers are seeking very specific prey
  35. 35. Information foragersrely on search enginesto get to the “information patch information patch”Because search engines make it easy to f d patches, h k find hforagers will spend little time looking for prey.
  36. 36. “learning to use the Internet is aprocess of transitioning fromcasual ‘looking’ to more focusedsearching for an answer to a‘specific question’.”Howard + Massanari, “Learning to Search and Searching to Learn”, Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication (2007)
  37. 37. “the fact that online readingcomprehension always begins witha question or problem may be animportant source of thedifferences between online andoffline reading.” ffli di ”Leu et al, “What is new about the new literacies of online reading comprehension”, Secondary School Literacy: What Research Reveals for Classroom Practice (2007)
  38. 38. is this important?
  39. 39. Because…Because…of the velocity of web usage of usage.
  40. 40. long do you spend viewingyour average web page?
  41. 41. 25% of all web pagesare displayed for less than p yfour seconds!Weinreich et al, “Off the Beaten Tracks: Exploring Three Aspects of Web Navigation”, IW3C2 2006
  42. 42. 52% of all visitsare shorter thanten seconds!Only about 11% are visited formore than 2 minutes.Weinreich et al, “Off the Beaten Tracks: Exploring Three Aspects of Web Navigation”, IW3C2 2006
  43. 43. Weinreich et al, “Off the Beaten Tracks: Exploring Three Aspects of Web Navigation”, IW3C2 2006
  44. 44. “users most often spent p approximately 10 seconds viewing those documents that they eventually h h ll identified as relevant and also those that they eventually did not mark as relevant.”Diane Kelly and Nicholas J. Belkin, “Reading Time, Scrolling and Interaction: Exploring Implicit Sources for User Preferences for Relevance Feedback”, Proceedings of the 24th annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in information retrieval (2001)
  45. 45. Areacademicsanydifferent?
  46. 46. In a very interesting study comparing the y g y p g time spent reading a paper-based academic article and the on-line equivalent, the researchers f h found that d h “a “ very l large proportion i of [online] full-text views full text were extremely brief and possibly cursory.”David Nicholas et al, “Viewing and reading behavior in a virtual environment”, ASLIB Proceedings: New Information Perspectives 60 (2008)
  47. 47. Average reading times for 10+ page p g g p g printed academic paper varied between 22 to 45 minutes based on the discipline. Average reading times for on-line version averaged about 74 seconds. Yet academics reported that they spent between 5-15 minutes reading the online version (even though they didn’t).David Nicholas et al, “Viewing and reading behavior in a virtual environment”, ASLIB Proceedings: New Information Perspectives 60 (2008)
  48. 48. Average for academics: 74 seconds g Average for students: 100 seconds Average for life science academics: 112 s Average for business academics: 60 s Average for computer science academics: 55 s Research-university faculty spent longer than teaching university teaching-university faculty.David Nicholas et al, “Viewing and reading behavior in a virtual environment”, ASLIB Proceedings: New Information Perspectives 60 (2008)
  49. 49. is this happening?
  50. 50. SCANNING
  51. 51. The vast majority of j yweb pages are scannedand not read d t dbyb most users t
  52. 52. The focus on usability this decadehas succeeded in achievingbroad acceptance of conventionsin the design of web sites
  53. 53. Eye-tracking stud es ye t ac g studies
  54. 54. The Poynter Institute, Poynter EyeTrack07: A study of print and online news reading (2007)
  55. 55. The Poynter Institute, Poynter EyeTrack07: A study of print and online news reading (2007)
  56. 56. Word Skipping: Implications Eye movements in reading are characterized by short periods of steadiness (fixations) followed by fast movements (saccades). Saccades are needed to bring new information into the centre of the visual field where acuity is best; fixations are required to recognized words. … Some words are q g fixated more than once, some are initially not fixated but immediately afterwards regressed to, and some are not fixated at all.Marc Brysbaert and Francoise Vitu, “Word Skipping: Implications for Theories of Eye Movement Control in Reading,” Eye Guidance in Reading and Scene Perception (Elsevier Science, 1998)
  57. 57. Zambarbieri et al, "Eye Tracking Analysis in Reading Online Newspapers," Journal of Eye Movement Research 2(4) 2008.
  58. 58. Nielsen Group, “F‐Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content,” (April 17, 2006)
  59. 59. Notice the large mass of text not read, (even when subjects being tested f “ di g”) ( h bj t b i g t t d for “reading”)Shrestha, “Eye Movement Analysis of Text-Based Web Page Layouts,” Usability News 2009 (11)
  60. 60. Lorigo et al, “Eye Tracking and Online Search: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and technology (2008)
  61. 61.
  62. 62. “F is for fast“ i f f .That sThats how users read yourprecious content. In a fewseconds,seconds their eyes move atamazing speeds across yourwebsite swebsite’s words in a patternthats very different from whatyou learned in school ” school.Nielsen Group, “F‐Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content,” (April 17, 2006)
  63. 63. Notice Red areas show only first two words in headlines are scannedNielsen Group, “Email Newsletters: Surviving Inbox Congestion,” (June 12, 2006)
  64. 64. More recent research showsUse s ead only the stUsers read o ly t e firsteleven charactersof an online h dli f li headline(forget about the body text).More recent research shows …12345678901Nielsen Group, “First 2 Words: A Signal for the Scanning Eye,” (April 6, 2009)
  65. 65. “The human brainis in the earlystages of reading,…
  66. 66. … but it has a long evolutionary past inadapting cognitive t it f swift d ti iti traits for iftprocessing and responses to audiovisualcues.” ”Grabe et al, “Informing Citizens: How people with Different Levels of Education process Television, Newspaper, and Web News,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 53 (1) 2009.
  67. 67. Reading is unnatural unnatural,but scanning is not.Humans are hard-wiredto excel at fast scanning
  68. 68. Eye-tracking studies y ghave shown thatscanning is also an gimportant part ofnewspaper reading. p p g
  69. 69. 1991, 1994“a mere 25% of all [newspaper] articlesare seen, and only 12% are read deeperthan half their length. length.” Garcia and Stark, Eyes on the News (Poytner Institute, 1991)
  70. 70. 1960 1980 1995 2009
  71. 71. Print newspapers 55% Eye fixations = reading Online newspapers 44% Eye fixations = readingHolmqvist et al, “Reading or scanning? A study of newspaper and net reading,” The Mind’s Eye: Cognitive and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research (2003)
  72. 72. “The correlation between The proportion of reading and time spent on [an online news] page is only 0.25” yHolmqvist et al, “Reading or scanning? A study of newspaper and net reading,” The Mind’s Eye: Cognitive and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research (2003)
  73. 73. “Our results showed that in Our fact net paper readers scan more and read less than newspaper readers ” readers.Holsana, “Cognition, multimodal interaction and new media,” Philosophical papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz (2007)
  74. 74. Selectivity
  75. 75. Selectivity fS l ti it refers to users tc oos g select gchoosing/selectingwhat they read/view.
  76. 76. What could be wrong withthe freedom to choose … your o r reading material?
  77. 77. Excessive selectivity is yassociated with a varietyof negative outcomes:
  78. 78. Decreased news awarenessD dDecreased political knowledgeand participationDecreased diversity of opinion y pand higher political polarization
  79. 79. “Online readers of the Times appear to pp have read fewer national, international, and p , political news stories [than readers of print version] and were less likely to recognize and y g recall events that occurred during the exposure p p period.”Tewksbury and Althus, “Differences in knowledge acquisition among readers of the paper and online versions of national newspapers,” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 31 (2006)
  80. 80. “preference-based gaps [i.e., selectivity]… p g p [ , y] are self-imposed as many people abandon the news for entertainment simply because they like it better. Inequality in political knowledge and turnout increases as a result of voluntary, not circumstantial, consumption decisions.”Prior, “News vs. Entertainment: How Increasing Media Choice Widens Gaps in Political Knowledge and Turnout,” American Journal of Political Science 49 (3) July 2005
  81. 81. “the net paper readers read stories p p thematically close to their own specific p profession or interests. … The newspaper readers in our study … were much less selective. They read (parts) of text on all the different pages … including a wide variety of genres and topics.”Holmqvist et al, “Reading or scanning? A study of newspaper and net reading,” The Mind’s Eye: Cognitive and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research (2003)
  82. 82. “We found that there was a significantdifference in the extent of selectivediff i th t t f l tiscanning .. with the least scanning in theprint condition … and significantly more i t diti d i ifi tlscanning … in the web conditions.”Thus, while the quantity of information onthe web should increase learning it in fact“decreases learning through increasedselective scanning compared to traditionalprint.”Eveland and Dunwoody, “An investigation of elaboration and selective scanning as mediators of learning from the web versus print,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 46 (1) 2002.Eveland and Dunwoody, “User Control and Structural Isomorphism or Disorientation and Cognitive Load,” Communication Research 28 (1) 2001.
  83. 83. “Political talk that centers on reinforcing a g shared viewpoint does little to encourage deliberation on multiple viewpoints.” “people tend to cultivate homogeneous interpersonal networks, and those with strong networks partisan networks are particularly likely to be surrounded by similar others.” y “Our findings suggest that media are far more important than interpersonal net orks in networks exposing people to views unlike their own.”Mutz and Martin, “Facilitating Communication across lines of political difference: The role of mass media,” The American Political Science Review 95 (1) March 2001
  84. 84. “This study predicted that selectivity should lead to extremity in candidate evaluations. The data strongly supported this hypothesis.” “…selectivity on the Web was a significant predictor of extremity in candidate evaluations” evaluations “As “A a result th t d t b lt they tend to become extreme and t d polarized when making political decisions.”Kim, “Issue Publics in the New Information Environment: Selectivity, Domain Specificity, and Extremity,” Communication Research 36 (2) 2009
  85. 85. Google have anything to do with selectivity?
  86. 86. Google search and res lt pages resultaccount for almosta quarter of all pages f ll Weinreich et al, “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Usage”, ACM Transactions on the Web (February 2008)
  87. 87. It facilitates the quickscanning and foragingbehavior of contemporaryweb usage.
  88. 88. Google is so good that … g g75% of users stick to first page of SERP50% of users click on 1st choice20% of users click on 2nd choiceMajority behavior if not clicking on first two choices?Reformulate searchNielsen + Loranger, Prioritizing Web usability, 2006
  89. 89. “Into the potentially problematic category we would place the p unquestioning attitude about the search engine, Google, g , g , which many students see as the total answer to all their information needs.” Kiili et al, “Students evaluating Internet Sources,” Journal of Educational Computing Research 39 (2008)
  90. 90. “Students in this study seemed to yhave a great deal of confidencein their abilities to distinguish gthe good sites from the bad.” Yet “Students are also not consistently able t diff i t tl bl to differentiate ti t between advertising and fact.” Graham and Metaxis, “Of Course it’s true; I saw it on the Internet,” Communications of the ACM (2003)
  91. 91. “Overall only about 1 in 6 searchers … Overallcan consistently distinguish betweenpaid and unpaid results ” results.Pew Internet and American Life Project, “Search Engine Users,” (2005)
  92. 92. Remember scanning behavior!
  93. 93. Usability analyst Jakob Nielsen calls it: y yGoogle gGullibility Nielsen Group, “User Skills Improving, But Only Slightly,”‐skills.html (Feb 4, 2008)
  94. 94. Online selectivity isnarrowing scholarship
  95. 95. “Collectively, the models presentedillustrate thatill t t th t as j journal archives came l hionline … citations became moreconcentrated within fewer articles ” articles. “by enabling scientists to quickly by reach and converge with prevailing opinion, electronic ili i i l t i journals hasten scientific consensus”James A Evans, “Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship,” Science 321 (July 18, 2008)
  96. 96. Power Law Distributionrules the web (and more). http://www.congo‐‐of‐networks/figure‐7‐4.gif p g g g
  97. 97.‐10133.html‐719785.JPG
  98. 98. Whether you look at the web yas a whole or any subsection within it(blogs, political sites, sports sites, etc) you(bl liti l it t it t )see power law distributions.
  99. 99. “We introduce a new term to describe the organizational structure we find: ‘ googlearchy ’ – the rule of the most heavily linked.”Matthew Hindman et al, “’Googlearchy’: how a few heavily‐linked sites dominate politics on the web,”  Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, 2003
  100. 100. I prefer the phrase (following Robert Michel): The Iron Law of Googlearchy
  101. 101. Michel’s 1911 iron law of oligarchy is a political theorythat t t that ll forms of organization will eventuallyth t states th t all f f i ti ill t lland inevitably develop into oligarchies.My iron l law of googlearchy states that all f f l h h ll forms of search- f hoptimized web-based information will eventually andinevitably develop into oligarchies in which a small y p gnumber of sites absolutely dominate the discourse on anygiven subject.
  102. 102. Environment i
  103. 103. Some studies say that datacenters account forbetween 1.2 to 2.0 percent of the electricityconsumed in the United States.By some estimates, if you were to view datacentersas an industry unto themselves, U.S. datacenterswould be approaching the top five industries interms of energy use.‐us/magazine/
  104. 104. US data centers thus produce higher g p g gasemissions than the countries of Argentinaand the Netherlands.Even worse, these numbers did notinclude Google’s power usage. Google s usage
  105. 105. Q: How much does it take to power a Google data center?A: Its none of your business. Google considers power usage to be a trade secret
  106. 106. One O estimate: i Every time y search Google y could y you g you power an 11-watt light bulb for an hour.‐center‐power‐consumption‐global‐warming‐will‐the‐web‐crash
  107. 107. These numbers did not include data center power usage.Moberg et al, "Screening environmental life cycle assessment of printed, web based and tablet e‐paper newspaper," Reports from the KTH Centre for Sustainable Communications, 2007
  108. 108. Cognitive impairmentC g iti i i t
  109. 109. This is the key one …but is still under-studied
  110. 110. Is liI online reading diactually changing ourcognitive abilities, blperhaps for the worse?
  111. 111. There are plenty of grumpy old teacher stories about kids nowadays…
  112. 112. “The research literature on young people’suse of information technology in theirlearning suggests that in the case ofassignment completion at least, what wasmore important than entertainment orinterest was to finish by the expending theleast amount of effort.”British Library/JISC Study, Information Behavior of the Researcher of the Future (2007) “The popularity of Google is facilitating The laziness, poor scholarship, and complacent thinking.” Tara Brabazan, the University of Google: Education in the (post) information age (2007) Tara Brabazan the University of Google: Education in the (post) information age (2007)
  113. 113. I have tried to provide a range p gof evidence that suggests weshould be worriedabout cognitive impairment.
  114. 114. Yet there have been some claimsthat in fact the new media environmentis making us smarter. g
  115. 115. These claims are mainly founded on ythe Flynn Effect(Q(IQ test scores have been rising 3-5 points g p per decade since 1930s) This growth has however been in scores below the median, not above it. Sundet et al, “The end of the Flynn effect?” Intelligence 32 (2004) Strangely, mean SAT score results since 1950s have steadily declined declined. Flynn, “The mean IQ of Americans: Massive gains 1932 to 1978,” Psychological Bulletin, 95,
  116. 116. “almost all of the almost modest gain between g 1988 and 1998 derived from the g geometric figures g test of spatial ability.” bilit ”Teasdale and Owen, “A long‐term rise and recent decline in intelligence test performance: The Flynn Effect in reverse”  Intelligence 39 (2005)
  117. 117. Recent research indicates Flynn Effect has reversed intheth past d t decade. d Sundet et al, “The end of the Flynn effect?” Intelligence 32 (2004) Teasdale and Owen, “Secular declines in cognitive test scores: A reversal of the Flynn Effect” Intelligence 36 (2008) ( ) Teasdale and Owen, “A long‐term rise and recent decline in intelligence test performance: The Flynn Effect in reverse”  Intelligence 39 (2005)
  118. 118. Leisure paper-based reading paper based still remains one of the strongest correlates of post- secondary success.Gallik, “Do they read for pleasure? Recreational reading habits of college students,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 42 (1999)Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M (2005)
  119. 119. National Endowment for the Arts, (January 2009)
  120. 120. Recap: pFive ThingsWrongwith onlinereading
  121. 121. Poor comprehensionTooT much scanning h iInformation SelectivityEnvironmentally unsoundCognitive impairment
  122. 122. should we do?
  123. 123. WARNING Philosophy ahead … h d
  124. 124. “To behold, use or perceive , p any extension of ourselves in technological form is necessarily to embrace it.”“To listen to radio or to read the printed page To is to accept these extensions… into our personal system and to undergo the closure or displacement of perception that follows automatically ” automatically.Marshall McLuhan, “The Gadget Lover: Narcissus as Narcosis,” Understanding Media (1964)
  125. 125. “It is this continuous embrace of our own technology … gy that puts us in the Narcissus role of … numbness in l ti to these i i relation t th images [ t i ] of ourselves.” [extensions] f l ”Marshall McLuhan, “The Gadget Lover: Narcissus as Narcosis,” Understanding Media (1964)
  126. 126. We W are th t numb t recognize th t thus too b to i that“Man in the normal use of technology …is perpetually modified by it.” p p y yAs such, we tend to be unconscious of thereal effects of technology on the individual. Marshall McLuhan, “The Gadget Lover: Narcissus as Narcosis,” Understanding Media (1964)
  127. 127. we are going t i toWAKE FROMthis numbness numbness…
  128. 128. “You must change your life”
  129. 129. We need to push students (andourselves) back to the
  130. 130. Changes?1. Reduced bibliographic expectations, but print-based e.g., 2 print-based refereed articles, three chapters in book, etc2. No research, but fixed, substantial, printed-out readings e.g., provide students with substantial number of readings from which they have to read a percentage.3. Teach and re-teach how to evaluate information Don’t expect the high schools to do this for you!4. Print out and read, don’t read scan from your monitor Even if you think you’re reading, you probably aren’t.
  131. 131. 5. Resist those continual calls to cheerfully adopt the technology of the digital generation in your teaching. The role of the University is to preserve and promote real learning, not to push our students into a new dark age of voluntarily-chosen ignorance in the th name of relevance or f hi f l fashion.
  132. 132. Randy ConnollyDept. Computer Science & Information SystemsMount Royal University, y y