I am reading Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, and can highly recommend it.
Often questioning the effects of technology ends up branding you with the label “Luddite”. I am hardly a Luddite, but I have always been concerned about this issue. I think it is a matter of teaching reading techniques that deal with the new realities of reading in a hyperlinked world. So far, I’ve not seen much written about this. Perhaps I am not searching correctly. If any of you are reading experts – I would love to see some research and techniques for teaching reading in a hyperlinked world. Any literacy coaches out there??
I am thinking about installing Instapaper and Readability icons on all our browser bars here in the library and teaching kids to use them to print a “clean copy” of articles. The point is not just to save ink, but to save brains, helping people focus more on the text, and spend a little less time chasing links. I love that Readability will put the footnotes (hyperlinks) at the bottom. I like Instapaper because I can save articles, organize them in folders, and read them later on my iPad. Now, if they both would just do the whole job, I’d really be happy!
I also plan to test-drive placing my links at the bottom of my posts, rather than embedding them within the body.
So — to that end…
Links referenced above:
Some other articles of interest.
Kids AND adults are having trouble focusing on one train of thought. First in a series of articles from the NYTimes
Your Brain on Computers: Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
The Future of Reading – My Delicious Account Bookmarks. I plan to tag all the articles I find under “future of reading.”
Birkerts, Sven. ”The truth about reading: it’s easy to blame technology for our younger generation’s declining interest in literature. But what, if anything, can be done about it?.” School Library Journal 50.11 (Nov 2004): 50(3). Business and Company ASAP. Gale. Gananda High School. 30 Apr. 2009
Gale Document #: A124941809
Finally, here is the RSS feed to my “future of reading” folder on Instapaper, should you be masochistic enough to add it to your news reader.