They may not be a magical cure for all the country's education ills, but research shows they are a critical part of learning.
My friend Joanne was packing her youngest child off to college this month and wrestling with a modern dilemma: Is it better to buy textbooks in digital form or old-fashioned print?
“We study things like highlighting and underlining,” Alexander says, “but those kind of motor responses have never been of highest value in terms of text-processing strategies” – whether done with a cursor or a marker.
The studying strategy with “the greatest power,” she adds, involves deeply questioning the text — asking yourself if you agree with the author, and why or why not.
“The core question,” Alexander said in an interview, is “when is a reader best served by a particular medium. Research by Alexander and others has confirmed this faster pace.
“They assume that because they were going faster, they understood it better,” Alexander observes.
“In narrative prose fiction, the author strictly determines the reading path,” he and co-author August Hans Den Boef write in a collection of essays about the future of reading.
“But in a digital environment we can easily enable a plurality of reading paths in educational and scholarly texts.” In addition to the hyperlinks, video and audio that currently enhance many digital texts, Kircz would like to see innovations such as multiple types of hyperlinks, perhaps in a rainbow of colors that denote specific purposes (annotation, elaboration, contrary views, media, etc.).
The Hechinger Report provides in-depth, fact-based, unbiased reporting on education that is free to all readers. Our work keeps educators and the public informed about pressing issues at schools and on campuses throughout the country. I consider this report timely, indeed, not to mention informative. paper--is not just a decision that young(er) students may make either.
We tell the whole story, even when the details are inconvenient. It should be given serious consideration by educational agencies that purport to help teachers teach.