Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do you read more online or in print? In what age group are you?

Well it has been more than a month since my last blog (June 25th) and I'd like to say I've been on vacation all of that time, but I've really been even busier than during the school year. Summer is when all of the projects get implemented in K12 technology since students and teachers are gone. We work 4 - 10's instead of 5 - 8's, so on Friday's I've sleepily been able to start camping trips early. But enough of me.

I just went to the NY Times instead of the Longmont Times Call by accidently inputting only part of the url. Accidents sometimes enable one to stumble upon some good "online" reading. Right up front was an article that caught my eye: "Literacy Debate: R U Really Reading?"1 Along with it was a video clip, "A Family of Readers" that is worthwhile watching.

This is the first in a series of articles that will look at how the Internet and other technological and social forces are changing the way people read.

Below are some sections of the article and my comments:

Michael L. Kamil, a professor of education at Stanford who lobbied for an Internet component as chairman of the reading test guidelines committee, says, students

are going to grow up having to be highly competent on the Internet. There’s no reason to make them discover how to be highly competent if we can teach them.
Okay this last sentence seems rather the opposite of project-based learning. Isn't it all about letting them "DISCOVER" how to be highly competent? Aren't we trying today, to not be the expert, but to let the student lead the learning through discovery rather than "teaching"?
Experts on reading difficulties suggest that for struggling readers, the Web may be a better way to glean information. “When you read online there are always graphics,” said Sally Shaywitz, the author of “Overcoming Dyslexia” and a Yale professor. “I think it’s just more comfortable and — I hate to say easier — but it more meets the needs of somebody who might not be a fluent reader.

Next year, for the first time, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers reading, math and science tests to a sample of 15-year-old students in more than 50 countries, will add an electronic reading component. The United States, among other countries, will not participate. A spokeswoman for the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the Department of Education, said an additional test would overburden schools.
I can't believe we are not participating!?! If we are overburdened, then get rid of some of the other tests or consolidate tests! We finally have a tool that will help students with learning issues and we are not going to participate in the research!!!

Students are developing new reading skills on the internet that are neither taught nor evaluated in school. ". . .online reading skills will help children fare better when they begin looking for digital-age jobs." We need figure out how to assess all learning.

And yes, perhaps reading's meaning should be refined.
Interpreting videos or pictures, are as important a skill as analyzing a novel or a poem.
Huh? This is not new. When my 19 year old college senior (yes that is a brag) was in 2nd grade, we used clues from the pictures to help decipher the words. Did I miss something between now and then? Has there been a time warp?

I believe we should read where we need to when we need to and where we want to when we read for pleasure. There are always going to be different strokes for different folks and when it comes to reading as long as reading is happening it is a good thing.

1"Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?" New York Times Company. By MOTOKO RICH Published: July 27, 2008. Accessed 2/27/08.

1 comment:

Holli said...

Here is an excellent commentary on this thought provoking article.