US

Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Christa

    |

    Enjoyable piece! Wondering though is the ability to link to something while reading really a bad thing, if one knows how to use that convenience correctly? I do agree about becoming lost in original inquiry: during the World Cup last summer, I managed to lose almost 2 hours of an afternoon reading about Norway and the Dutch monarchy!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Rose Davidson

    |

    What would the world be like if written text was not the God of education, that the thoughts were the key, not the way they were written? In the distant past ideas were spread by word of mouth, passed down generation to generation. Why is the exact phrasing in written text so important to the meaning? When I think about the amount of energy spent on the recent debacle of the 6th edition of the APA manual, I just cringe. Who cares if it is inset or inline, underlined or bolded? What does it matter. I think the current generation of digital natives are coming up with new rules for communication just as important to them as the rules of grammar are to the digital immigrants. Over the centuries humans have passed on ideas through whatever means necessary. The ideas are what is important, not the format.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Carl Wood

    |

    Well-written, well-thought out as usual Chris!

    We’ve had this conversation before: Mr. Carr is seeking to be a victim, but a victim of what? Himself? Or is it as he suggests, a sinister re-wiring of his brain that is being enacted without his consent, against his will? I’ve got no problem with Mr. Carr choosing to so completely immerse himself in the digital realm that he no longer feels capable of reading a novel, or maintaining his focus on a single task, or carrying on a conversation with a human being. But it is Mr. Carr’s choice; that’s the key. If Mr. Carr were to choose to read a book or immerse himself in some other non-digital task, I feel confident that Mr. Carr would rediscover his own submerged well-spring of attentiveness. Mr. Carr’s habits are his own free-willed choices, and I find it somewhat insulting that he would take up the mantle of the neurologically reprogrammed victim to explain his choices.

    As a high school English teacher, I encourage my students to develop the capacity to skim text, whether paper or digital, with a purpose. The myriad distractions we encounter on the Internet can and should be put to good use. Hyperlinks certainly can be a distraction, but the can also make research far easier. We, as educators, should be avoiding assuming such an “either/or” stance like the one Mr. Carr is advocating. Instead, we should be encouraging our own students to utilize all of the tools available to them in a logical, disciplined manner.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Shaun Reno

    |

    Carr and others are trying to determine motivation to read based on the way the text is presented and how our minds work. Yes, poorly presented text can make reading difficult on the eyes and thus difficult to read. However, I believe expectations for reading in the internet represent the expectations that people have about reading in general and always have. In the 19th Century, if you could read and had time to read, you needed something to entertain you and good long novels helped fill up that time. As more people have become able to read, the interests and free time of these groups have been different than the educated upper class. When the Internet was largely dominanted by educational sites, you had readers who expected some well developed ideas. As the Internet has become commerilized and the consumers have become more wide ranging in reading level and interest, the text has become more simple and shorter to meet the expectations and abilities of the readers. Also, many readers do not come to an Internet site for a good long read. The Internet is sold as a quick way to get information, not as a place to linger over that information. Plus, who wants to read 40 pages on Justin Beiber!

    Reply

Leave a comment

Archives

Resources

Offices