“Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing”

PRI has this great story/article on the way we navigate different modes of media when we read digitally vs. when we read on paper. My favorite quote from the article (which includes the link to the whole thing):  “If you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain. You lose the deep reading part of your brain.” 


” “The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.”

So what’s deep reading? It’s the concentrated kind we do when we want to “immerse ourselves in a novel or read a mortgage document,” Zoromodi says. And that uses the kind of long-established linear reading you don’t typically do on a computer. “Dense text that we really want to understand requires deep reading, and on the internet we don’t do that.”

Linear reading and digital distractions have caught the attention of academics like Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University.

“I don’t worry that we’ll become dumb because of the Internet,” Wolf says, “but I worry we will not use our most preciously acquired deep reading processes because we’re just given too much stimulation. That’s, I think, the nub of the problem.””

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Is Google Making Students Stupid?

This article, “Is Google Making Students Stupid?: Outsourcing menial tasks to machines can seem liberating, but it may be robbing a whole generation of certain basic mental abilities.” by Nick Romeo appeared September 30, 2014 in The Atlantic.  I thought it was  interesting and fit well with our readings this week by Paul Duguid “Material Matters: Aspect of the Past and the Futurology of the Book and Carla Hesse “Books in Time

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Archaeology of New Media


The map above shows a preliminary attempt to use the tremendous amount of linguistic data being produced on the web to understand how language works. Jack Grieve, a forensic linguist at Aston University in the UK, has been looking through 6 billion words collected from Twitter. Following a discussion with fellow linguist Mark Lieberman—a prolific blogger who has long been interested in the “um”/”uh” divide—Grieve decided to look through his corpus of tweets to see how the two words compared. They started their exploration with data from America.

[read more]

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Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away

I was sent this really interesting article on multi-tasking and how a professor of technology at NYU has now told his students no laptops, cell phones or tablets are allowed in his class. I found what he had to say really had some merit. I know from my own personal experience my fellow student’s laptops have distracted me during a class, especially when they are not doing anything class related but checking their email or shopping online.

I also found this interesting “Humans are incapable of ignoring surprising new information in our visual field, an effect that is strongest when the visual cue is slightly above and beside the area we’re focusing on. (Does that sound like the upper-right corner of a screen near you?)”. It was funny as I read that my Mac Mavericks OS popped up a notice about a new email in the upper-right hand corner of my screen and I had to fight my impulse to click on the notification.

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away by Clay Shirky

Here are some of the other studies he mentions in the article:

What do you think of what he has to say? Do you agree? Is this part of the “generational divide” and “crisis” Losh referenced?

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Slate: Pew Study Says that Millennials are Actually Well Read Library Users

This article is related to the discussion of Crisis/feigning Crisis and it’s effect of the American educational system…The Pew study is revealing it’s fabrication, but I think educational companies will use this to sell more of it’s new media services.

The article makes me think of the “generational divide” that Losh mentioned, it’s relation to a technological divide, and how millennials–who, I am guessing, makes up a few of us in the New Media Literacies class–relate to their older/younger peers/students in the classroom/any learning environment. Is there a dynamic that we should explore?

Anyways, let me stop rambling.

Quote from the article:

“What’s more, libraries are not a cherished refuge of the old, but a destination for the young: In a September 2013 survey, 50 percent of respondents between the ages of 16 and 29 had used a library in the past year, compared with 47 percent of their older counterparts, and 36 percent of people under 30 had used a library website in that same time frame; compared with 28 percent of the over-30s…”

Read the Slate article. Read the actual study.

Tell me what y’all think,



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