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Research Reviews

Reading on screen

Posted on 12 Feb 2012 with 0 comments
21st century skills Digital literacy Trends

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The use of computers in education has introduced dual reading modes: on paper and on screen. Concerns have been raised about how readers interact with each mode, especially on screen, and the processes that are used for reading and comprehension given that most university students use computers and increasingly tablets for study. Two recent announcements in the US may mean that students will be reading from screens even more. The US Government has set the goal of an e-textbook for all school students within five years and Apple have launched digital textbooks and free software called ibooks to develop digital textbooks. What does research find about reading on screen compared to reading on paper? In a study called The Phenomenology of on-screen reading: University students’ lived experience of digitised text researchers found that increasingly ‘paper based books and papers are digitised and then read on screen’ (p. 516). Previous research had suggested that on screen reading is haphazard, interrupted, unfocused and does not translate into academic reading. The Phenomenology of on-screen reading: University students’ lived experience of digitised text overcame that simplistic and erroneous perspective and delved deeper into the processes that students use when reading on screen. Six interesting phenomena were identified that provide an insight into the practices of on screen reading.

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