We’ve all started relying on screens and devices more than ever. But when it comes to LEARNING, kids do best with real, physical books.
That’s according to linguistics professor Naomi Baron at American University, and author of a new book, “How We Read Now.”
She says, because we use screens for social purposes and entertainment, both kids and adults get used to reading online material quickly, without much effort. We skim. Digital devices encourage us to take in more information in less time.
But when it comes to harder material – and things we need to learn and absorb – if we read it on a screen, we don’t slow down the way we should to give the material the right amount of attention.
In Dr. Baron’s studies of high school and college students, all of them did better on tests when the material they were tested on came from printed, physical books. Even students who print out articles tend to have higher grades and better test scores.
Of course, digital devices aren’t going anywhere. But Dr. Baron says, if you want to slow down while reading from a screen, take physical notes with a pen and paper. That leads to deeper reading, and mindfully focusing on the text.