As we become ever more attached to the face of a smartphone screen, the imperative distance we need to build perspective and examine our reality is smeared. Without time and space from our interface, we lose our insight and the essential skills developed in early reading to explore a text, comprehend it and sort fiction from fact.
Surprisingly the less we read books and the more screen-gazing we do, the more likely we are to dissolve the sophisticated neural networks that help us think empathically, mitigate complex social arrangements and understand the emotional needs of others.
We see a lot of our learning transitioning from old - school, (pardon the pun), reading and writing to digital tools. We love the novelty, and we have the impression that study and learning are quicker and easier done online or on a device, but is this true?.
As it turns out using a digital device when it comes to reading and writing can impair your ability to comprehend a text, develop a sophisticated vocabulary and determine the difference between false and misleading information with fact.
Maryanne Wolf, a literary scholar and Director of the Centre for Reading and Language Research in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, says we have become a generation of skimmers.
When reading from an illuminated screen or ebook, we find it harder to immerse ourselves into the text because we are distracted by the multiple search bars, hyperlinks and infinity scrolling. Time becomes figurative and less relative, and we lose where we are, and can not remember where we have been.
Maryanne says that screens fragment our attention and the lights and illusory nature of digital books requires us to use more cognitive energy to perform the task of reading. The energy we use to read from a screen means milliseconds are lost in mental processing, and we don't read properly.
She says without the 'Deep Reading' experience, the reader finds it difficult to cultivate an individual perspective or know what he or she has learned. Deep reading is where we form analogies and explore dynamics between what we think and what we have read. The experienced reader utilises a complex neural network spanning different brain regions to make conclusions and form opinions that are more sophisticated than someone who doesn't read at all.
The verdict is still out as to whether the physical medium is better than the digital, but what research knows is that students and scholars will option a real book and printed paper over a screen when comprehension of a text is required. Studies show that research and learning from tangible materials is more effective and more efficient than from a device.Guest Contributor: Emily Rack Business Name: Horatio’s Jar Publisher: Digital Schools Emily Rack is a yoga teacher, meditation instructor, freelance writer and visual content creator. She incorporates a unique creative flair into her yoga and meditation classes, courses and workshops. Emily hosts events and classes in schools and the wider community she is passionate about teaching the art of mindfulness and sharing her knowledge of arts, environment and wellbeing ——- PUBLISHER’S DISCLAIMER: The publisher of this blog post (Digital Schools PTY LTD) works in partnership with the school as a 3rd party provider to help build and maintain the school website. Digital Schools sources a range of experts who provide products and/or services to educational institutions and we work with them to produce and publish topical information in the form of blog posts that we think may be relevant, interesting or topical to families within the community. The views, opinions and content listed in this blog post are that of the guest contributor and/or publisher (Digital Schools). It should be noted that whilst the publisher and guest contributors are acting with the best intentions and in the best interests of the school and their community to provide helpful or interesting information, sometimes the content may not necessarily reflect the views of the school. The information in this blog post is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own physician. The school and the publisher of this blog post are not responsible for any person reading or following the information in this article who may experience adverse effects. Any references to external websites or sources are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement by the school or publisher in any way and the publisher and/or school cannot guarantee accuracy of information listed. If you have feedback on any content on this platform, you can submit it to the publisher using the feedback link provided at the bottom of this page.