Promote Reading

Apr 15 2015

Library, Reading development and the Internet

Learning in the future

Digital natives or digital refugees? Why we have failed Gen Y?

Barbara Combes, Edith Cowan University (2009) The idea of that Gen Y are a generation of super users who can find information easily on the internet is not a reality. Teacher librarians and schools will need to develop students' information seeking strategies to prepare them for future study and the workplace.

Neil Gaiman on reading

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Books | The Guardian

Neil Gaiman (2013) A lecture explaining why libraries are important and that reading fiction is one of the most important things one can do. The author makes an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve them both.

Print vs online

Google's Vint Cerf warns of 'digital Dark Age' - BBC News

(2015) Digital technology could turn the 21st century into a new dark age lost to history, a leading internet pioneer has warned.

Reading books vs online

A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception: The Electronic Library: Vol 30, No 3
Hanho Jeong, (2012) This paper aims to assess the usability of electronic books (e-books) and paper books (p-books) with objective measures, including user comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception.

Children's progress hindered by e-books and Kindles, charity warns Telegraph

This news article, Telegraph UK (2013), claims children's progress in the classroom is being hindered by the use of iPads and Kindles. The National Literacy Trust has warned that figures show pupils are now more likely to read on a device than from a traditional book, and that this could have a detrimental effect on reading.

Children's on-screen reading overtakes reading in print | National Literacy Trust

The UK National Literacy Trust research (2013) finds those who read daily only on-screen are much less likely to be above average readers than those who read in print. 

Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read? |

Time magazine article (2012) says digital books are lighter and more convenient to tote around than paper books, but there may be advantages to old technology. 'It may be that physical books are best when you want to study complex ideas and concepts that you wish to integrate deeply into your memory.'

Paper beats computer screens | ScienceNordic

A Norwegian study (2013) shows that when you read a text on paper your understanding is deeper and longer lasting than if you read that same text on a computer.

Reading Comprehension: Paper or Screen? | DMLcentral

Reading Comprehension: Paper or Screen? By John Jones (2014). Critique of Ferris Jabr's Scientific American article, "Why the Brain Prefers Paper". Differences in reading comprehension seem to be a product of how readers interface with print and electronic technologies and the affordances that each provides to these readers. Media theorists use the term affordance to refer to the types of interactions that a technology allows for. Argument that screen technology has features that paper books lack eg. text searching and screen zooming. There is no single technology for reading.

Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature.

Dillon, A. (1992) Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. Ergonomics, 35(10), 1297-1326 Early research into screen technology and reading. Concerned with the effects of image quality and media manipulation problems on reading.


Michael S. Rosenwald (2014). Cognitive neuroscientists warn, that humans seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia.

The importance of instilling a need to read Telegraph

Jonathan Douglas (2013) Director of the National Literacy Trust. OECD research: Reading for pleasure at the age of 15 is a strong factor in determining future social mobility. Changes in teenage attitudes to reading and the gender status of reading for pleasure make the role of the school librarian pivotal in selecting good books and encouraging reading

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens - Scientific American

Ferris Jabr (2013) Technology codes our minds. E-readers and tablets are becoming more popular as such technologies improve, but research suggests that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages.

Two sides

Full text of Hanho Jeong article (2010) a Korean study.

Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right. - The Washington Post

Michael S. Rosenwald (2015) Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all find a preference for old-fashioned print. Michael S.

Writing Style for Print vs. Web

Jakob Nielsen (2008) Linear vs. non-linear. Author-driven vs. reader-driven. Storytelling vs. ruthless pursuit of actionable content. Anecdotal examples vs. comprehensive data. Sentences vs. fragments.

Technology and the brain

Reading List

Reading list from Susan Greenfield

Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Atlantic

The Atlantic magazine (2008) article about the effects of the Internet on the human brain.

Is the internet bringing out the best in us? - five-minute video debate | Comment is free | The Guardian

(2013) Susan Greenfield and David Babbs, executive director of the social campaigning site 38 Degrees, debate whether, for its rapid technological advances, the internet is bringing out the best in us. Lady Greenfield is a long-time sceptic about the value of social networking sites such as Facebook but Babbs argues that most people are adept at separating online and offline reality.

Mind Change | Psychology Today

Mind Change blog, Susan Greenfield: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains.

Why the modern world is bad for your brain | Science | The Guardian

(2015) Multitasking is an essential skill in the era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter. But, argues neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin, it's actually making us less efficient.