Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Is the internet making us stupid?

11 July 2014

Is the internet making us stupid?

People are reading more text than ever, but recalling less of it, a Victoria University of Wellington study on reading behaviour has found.

The study Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Impact of the Internet on Reading Behaviour, by Dr Val Hooper, an associate professor in Victoria’s School of Information Management and Master’s student Channa Herath, explored the online and offline reading behaviour of individuals.

In general, online reading was found to have a negative impact on people’s cognition. Concentration, comprehension, absorption and recall rates when engaging with online material were all much lower.

“Multitasking when reading online was common, with activities such as reading emails, checking news, exploring hyperlinks and viewing video clips providing distractions, which could have something to do with it,” says Dr Hooper. “People almost expect to be interrupted when they’re on their computers.”

Skim reading and scanning was the most common online reading behaviour of respondents, and as a result people were getting through more material.

“Many respondents said they had learnt to read faster and more selectively, which is positive, but also said they were more likely to remember material they had read offline. It was still common practice for many people to print out material they considered most important.”

The three main reasons for reading that were mentioned included information seeking, commitments either for work or study, and pleasure, with people preferring to read books, magazines or e-readers for pleasure.

“The research indicates that we still read in a linear, print-based fashion. However, the structure of much of what we are reading is inappropriate for the way in which we’re receiving information now. We need to learn how to read and write ‘digitally’, as well as how to effectively interpret and retain information we read online.

“If you think about how we’re training our children to read, they’re being trained by those who were trained in the linear fashion. So it will take at least a generation for significant change to happen.

“As educators I think it makes sense to look at getting messages across in ways in which readers expect to receive it now, rather than how it was given in the past. Long chunks of text aren’t exactly going to appeal to today’s students.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news