Many critics of the digital revolution are quick to mention that reading from screens makes for inferior reading comprehension. There is a rising belief that any knowledge gleaned from a digital source is somehow inferior to knowledge gleaned from a traditional paper source. A study in Scientific American makes a number of statements claiming the legitimacy of these fears.
However, what these types of studies fail to note is the perpetually shifting dynamic of technology in education. For example, this specific study is really only comparing the benefits of uniform paper books over the currently ubiquitous scrolling technique popular on most computers and ebook readers.
For a number of logical reasons, the familiarity of the same passage always appearing on the same page, in addition to visually seeing how much total volume of “book” you have completed and are still working on, is a superior choice to fluctuating page locations, text sizes, and representative “books” that offer little sensory perception that currently commonplace in the digital world.
It is quite clear that digital media content does not inherently decrease reading comprehension. As technology improves, the gap between new information and traditional books will decrease, but in the meantime, there are many other aspects to focus on for the benefit of students and teachers alike.
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