Research suggests that recall of plot after using an e-reader is poorer than with traditional books
The sample size was small, and this study is very early on in this realm of research, so it’s not fair to draw definitive conclusions. However….
I’ve wondered about this sort of thing for a while now. I’m honestly surprised it’s taken this long to even begin researching the answers to these questions (albeit in a limited way thus far).
Here’s an interesting passage:
"When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right," said Mangen. "You have the tactile sense of progress, in addition to the visual … [The differences for Kindle readers] might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story, is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading. Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story."
That comment about the sensory value of moving through the pages of a paperback struck me. I have often felt this myself, so I partially agree that there’s something to it, psychologically. On the other hand, at other times I feel like I’ve benefited from not being physically aware of the progress (or relative lack of it for huge books) I’m making, and so I can read with better focus.
The existence of the unanswered questions here is exactly why I oppose these ridiculous plans many public schools have to provide iPads or laptops to all their students. Besides the enormous waste of money, we simply don’t know the pedagogical implications of fully immersing our kids’ educational experience in electronic devices. I am a tech-savvy gadget guy, and I am pretty far from being a Luddite, yet I think these are legitimate concerns.
On Tuesday, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced a drastic turnaround on the part of the federal government: The German Romeike family, which sought asylum in the United States to home-school their children, will now be allowed to stay in America.
Let teachers assess the needs of students so that these results can tell us what we need. It is not the place of outsiders to make one-size-fits-all mandates to a world of different shapes and proportions. In doing so, they create an atmosphere where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed.
An anonymous teacher from Maryland who is leaving her profession because she feels education policy makes her work ineffective at best and damaging at worst, in an article tragically titled, "I would love to teach but…" (via hipsterlibertarian)
This entire essay is phenomenal. The modern education system is bankrupt practically, philosophically, and bureaucratically.
But the Harding children insist they are not geniuses. Instead, they credit their achievements to home-schooling, as well as a concentrated focus on their passions, which their parents taught them to hone in on from an early age.
Just look at that backwards, ignorant, separatist, anti-education family. They choose to indoctrinate their kids themselves, rather than let the (neutral) state do it for them.
I was watching a bit of Brannagh’s Hamlet tonight and luxuriating in the language (some of which I understood) when my dear wife asked me for my opinion: “Do you think the groundlings actually understood what was going on in those plays?”
I said I thought they did (but that’s probably a subject for another blog post).
Then she asked for another opinion: Why do you think people today can’t understand it?
I must warn you, I’m about to say something that will sound caustic. You probably want to cover your children’s ears while you read this.
Germany is a liberal democracy. Yet the actions of the state in this instance are antithetical to democratic government. The raid seems overtly harsh towards a family that—the state has already acknowledged—treats their children well. There are no allegations of abuse or neglect. According to HSLDA, the government hasn’t even claimed that the parents are providing an inadequate education.
Although the government should have the ability to monitor a child’s education, it should not control it entirely. Parental freedom and choice are also necessary and important factors in the equation—especially when a family’s ethical and religious convictions are involved. Without such educational freedoms, children truly become “prisoners of the state” and its teaching methods.
Introducing his proposals for education reform last week at the Sorbonne, the French president declared that work “must be done in the [school] facility rather than in the home if we want to support the children and re-establish equality.”
Education Minister Vincent Peillon told Le Monde, the state needs to “support all students in their personal work, rather than abandon them to their private resources, including financial, as is too often the case today.” The problem, in other words, isn’t with homework per se. It’s that some homes are more conducive to homework than others.