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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Attention Parents! Make Sure Your Children Read Paper Books Every Day!

You know what they say about "use or lose it." Well, apparently, our techie culture with so many people reading from a screen is endangering our "deep reading" skills. I was listening to NPR this morning and heard an interview with a woman (I think it was Maryanne Wold quoted below.) who was talking about how the brain processes information differently depending on whether a person is reading paper print or online. Here's a bit from an article I found later when I couldn't find the interview on the NPR website:
Manoush Zomorodi, managing editor and host of WNYC's New Tech City, explains how the shift from paper to digital has caused a gigantic change in the way we read....
Linear reading and digital distractions have caught the attention of academics like Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. 
“I don’t worry that we’ll become dumb because of the internet,” says Wolf. “But I worry we will not use our most preciously acquired deep reading processes because we’re just given too much stimulation. That’s, I think, the nub of the problem.”...
Zomorodi explains that neuroscience has revealed that humans use different parts of the brain when reading from a piece of paper or from a screen.
“They call it a ‘bi-literate’ brain,” she says. “The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.”
 To keep the deep reading aspect of the human brain alive and kicking, Zomorodi says that researchers like Wolf recommend setting some time aside each day to deep read with a paper medium.
So, parents, limit those techie devices. All those games may not only be damaging your children's social skills, but their ability to deep read. And if you think you can't do it, take Steve Jobs' example. He strictly controlled his children's access to his products. Check it out! 

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