LITERACY IN THE NEWS: A NEW WAY TO READ!
In an age where many people read at their desks or laptops, how many of us actually do so?
A recent study by LITERSPAN, a digital literacy nonprofit, found that only 5% of American adults read books at home.
LITERNACLE.com, an online resource that helps students with their digital literacy, found a similar rate: Only 11% of college-age students read in class.
To be sure, students may not be able to do this in their classroom.
However, a new study by Stanford University researchers shows that students can benefit from reading with a screen.
The study, which was published in PLOS ONE, showed that students who were reading with their laptop screen during a digital video conference were able to read more efficiently on a screen-based reading experience compared to a tablet.
“With the growing use of digital devices, we can expect a lot of people to start learning online,” said James G. McBride, associate professor of psychology and computer science at Stanford and the study’s senior author.
“I think the next step is to create a learning environment that students are comfortable with, and a way to incorporate digital literacy into their daily lives.”
One of the ways students can learn digital literacy is by reading books aloud in class, said McBride.
In fact, he said, “a lot of times I hear from teachers who want to take their students to their first digital literacy class.”
McBride said that the study found that the students who read books aloud were more likely to improve on their reading skills as they got older.
“We’re seeing a huge trend that is actually going in the right direction, and I think this is a big deal,” he said.
In addition to improving students’ reading skills, the study also found that reading books is a good way to connect with other people.
“The more people you interact with online, the better your digital literacy will be,” McBride explained.
“It can be really powerful.
The more people who read with you, the more people can understand what you’re saying.”
Students can use digital literacy to improve their communication skills, as well.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that people who are more engaged online tend to be more open and collaborative.
“Teachers can use this to create more creative ways for their students and staff to share ideas and share feedback,” McBrains research assistant Nicole N. Kieffer said.
“Students will be able be more effective as they get older, and this is definitely a way for them to stay connected and keep learning.”
The research by McBride and his colleagues, which will be published in the journal PLOS One, was based on interviews with a total of 6,000 students in the U.S. and Canada.
The participants were recruited through online forums and social media sites, and were asked questions about their digital reading habits.
Students were also asked about their experiences of being in class and the content of their books.
The survey included questions about what they read at home and when they went to class, as opposed to when they were reading online.
In one of the studies, the researchers found that students’ comprehension of information was significantly improved when they read on a laptop, which is not always the case.
The students also had a better time communicating and learning with other students online, when they weren’t working.
“Our findings suggest that when you’re doing more reading online, you’re more likely, even if you’re reading books offline, to have better comprehension of and collaboration with other users,” Mcbrains said.
And when they do read online, they’re doing it for different reasons.
“People are going to have different interests, and they’re not going to be going to class with the same reading content every day,” he explained.
In this study, students also reported that they prefer to read on their laptop to reading in class because it’s easier for them, but this is not necessarily the case for everyone.
Students who have a disability or who do not speak English well are more likely than students who are fluent in English to prefer reading on their laptops, McBride noted.
“If you can’t read on your laptop, then I would encourage you to read with someone else.
And for people who have disabilities, that can be a very helpful learning experience.”
This study, McBranches research, and other studies like it could lead to new ways to teach digital literacy in classrooms, Mcbranches said.
For instance, he explained, “We know that students learn better when they have a teacher with a background in digital literacy.
We need to be thinking about how to incorporate that into teaching digital literacy.”
The LITersPAN study also looked at the impact of digital literacy on the health of students.
Students in the study who read on laptop in class were less likely to report any adverse health effects from reading in the classroom.
Additionally, students who