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Clay Library: Digital Reading

Middle School and Upper School Library at FCDS

The Research

  1. The spatial information we get from print increases comprehension, but that spatial information is missing when we scroll down or over on a page. (Ross, Pechenkina, Aeschliman, & Chase, 2017)
  2. "Students, even when they appear to be digitally literate, often lack the necessary skills to manage online content. Rather, they use different strategies and practices when reading e-texts instead of print-based texts."  (Ross, Pechenkina, Aeschliman, & Chase, 2017)
  3. Our ability to recall factual details is often better with digital text, but our higher order and abstract thinking can be negatively impacted.  (Kaufman & Flanagan, 2016).
  4. Shallow reading is often observed due to the shifting colors, screens and movements online.  (Konnikova, 2014).
  5. It takes more attention to read online because of our subconscious response to the unending amount of information there is online. (Korbey, 2018)
  6. The pinball eye movement pattern and the F pattern, more common now than 20 year ago, is deterimental to comprehension of digital text.  Teaching students commitment gazing patterns increases comprehension. (Palani et al, 2020)
  7. Paper notes (Subrahmanyam, et al., 2013) and annotation tools (Ben-Yehudah & Eshet-Alkalai, 2014) can close the comprehension gap with online reading.
  8. "Schools cannot assume these processes (print and digital reading processes) and their comprehension are the same. Students need to be supported in both. This emphasis on digital reading of longer texts versus digital reading games or other learning environments with short texts can serve as an important guiding principle helping educators design learning experiences that prepare students for the different challenges between digital and paper reading." (Goodwin, 2020)



Cognitive Load Hints

  1. Eye fatigue occurs at about 20 minutes.  Employ active reading and reflection strategies frequently and include the use of off screen reflection.  
  2. Increase negative space on your designed content - white space isn't always considered negative.
  3. Be consistent - think of designing your digital instruction as your "Brand."  Use no more than 2 fonts and 3 colors on designed digital instruction.
  4. Chunk information as you present it.
  5. Employ concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) with brain based strategies.  See the attached graphic and the center column.

How To Support Students

1) Use Read&Write for digital reading assignments over 500 words.

2)  Employ effective Instructional Design elements of your lessons.

3)  Help students develop bilateral brain and commitment eye patterns on digital texts.

4) Model your thinking in accessing digital texts.

Overview of Read and Write

Read and Write for FCDS Students

The following are helpful overviews and Guides to help you support your students.