Digital Text is Changing How Kids Read—Just Not in the Way That You Think
Cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham said that digital devices aren’t changing the way kids read in terms of actual cognitive processes—putting together letters to make words, and words to make sentences. In fact, Willingham is quick to point out that in terms of “raw words,” kids are reading more now than they were a decade ago (thanks mostly to text messaging). But he does believe, as he writes in his book, The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads, that kids’ reading habits are changing. And it’s reasonable to guess that digital technology, in all its three-second-video and Snapchat glory, is changing those habits. In the chapter “Reading After the Digital Revolution,” Willingham, who has four children of his own, takes a measured approach toward screen reading. “Digital reading is good in some ways, and bad in others,” he said: in other words, it’s complicated. “Probably not,” he said. Watermelon for dessert instead of chocolate
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