Online, R U Really Reading?

Literacy Debate – Online, R U Really Reading? – Series –

But what do they think I just did with that article? I read it online!

And poor little Nadia is being berated for spending all her time online “reading and commenting on stories written by other users”(emphasis added).

“Clearly, reading in print and on the Internet are different. On paper, text has a predetermined beginning, middle and end, where readers focus for a sustained period on one author’s vision. On the Internet, readers skate through cyberspace at will and, in effect, compose their own beginnings, middles and ends.” – What BS! It’s just as easy to skim or excerpt from hard copy as digital text. Yes there are differences, but aside from the (steadily improving) physical comfort aspects, the main difference online is that it’s easier to locate material (either for finding a specific point in a text or to check references)

And then there’s this:” Web readers are persistently weak at judging whether information is trustworthy. In one study, Donald J. Leu, who researches literacy and technology at the University of Connecticut, asked 48 students to look at a spoof Web site ( about a mythical species known as the ‘Pacific Northwest tree octopus.’ Nearly 90 percent of them missed the joke and deemed the site a reliable source.”

But the same thing happens in print media – people take articles like this (or worse) at face value.

Actually, the article does give some attention to the other side of the story (and even comments at one point that, in a DoE report of reduced time spent by teenagers reading, “It was unclear whether they thought of what they did on the Internet as ‘reading.'”) but

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