How We Read Now: Strategic Choices for Print, Screen, and Audio

Editor(s) : Naomi S. Baron

Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication March 2021
ISBN 9780190084097
eISBN 9780190084127
Language English
Page 275


The digital revolution has transformed reading. Onscreen text, audiobooks, podcasts, and videos often replace print. We make these swaps for pleasure reading, but also in schools. How We Read Now offers a ringside seat to the impact of reading medium on learning. Teachers, administrators, librarians, and policy makers need to select classroom materials. College students must weigh their options. And parents face choices for their children. Digital selections are often based on cost or convenience, not educational evidence. Current research offers essential findings about how print and digital reading compare when the aim is learning. Yet the gap between what scholars and the larger public know is huge. How We Read Now closes the gap. The book begins by sizing up the state of reading today, revealing how little reading students have been doing. The heart of the book connects research insights to practical applications. Baron draws on work from international researchers, along with results from her collaborative studies of student reading practices ranging from middle school through college. The result is an impartial view of the evidence, including points on which the jury is still out. The book closes with two challenges. The first is that students increasingly complain print is boring. And second, for all the educational buzz about teaching critical thinking, digital reading is inherently ill suited for cultivating these habits of mind. Since screens and audio are now entrenched—and valuable—platforms for reading, we need to rethink how to help learners use them wisely.