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More and more, I read in pieces. So do you. Digital media, in all its forms, is fragmentary. Even the longest stretches of text online are broken up with hyperlinks or other interactive elements (or even ads). This is neither a good nor bad thing, necessarily — it is simply a part of modern reading. And because of that, works that deal with fragmentation, that eschew not only a traditional narrative structure but the very idea of a work comprising a single, linear whole — take on a special kind of relevance. Fragmentary writing is (or at least feels) like the one avant-garde literary approach that best fits our particular moment. It’s not that it’s the only form of writing that matters of course, just that it captures the tension between “digital” and “analog” reading better than anything else out there. And that tension, in many ways, is the defining feature of the contemporary reading experience.
Full essay here.
Two things are discouraging about young Quebecers' reading skills.
The first is the nationwide-reading test whose results came out this week: Quebec's eighth-graders scored "significantly lower" than Canadian students as a whole. (Quebec's English public schools ranked fifth among the provinces. Their counterparts in French schools fared far more poorly than in the previous test in 2007.)
The other thing that's discouraging is that no solution for this problem exists in Quebec.
Why It's a Great Time to Be a Reader
"It is hard to imagine that any publisher would not pursue digital initiatives, given the speed with which they are being adopted, but like the booksellers, they also confront distribution and production challenges that are formidable. If the past is a useful guide, there will be continued dynamic change, with winners among them--the iPad, Nook, Kindles, Canadian-based Kobo, POD machines, and such innovators as Mitchell Kaplan--and losers, the most spectacular case being the collapse of Borders in 2011, which sharply reduced the retail shelf space and thus further increased the appeal of e-books. What we can say with certainty is that the transformation of publishing currently under way has demonstrated the viability of books in the digital age. And that is definitely good news. "
...the one librarian being Greg Hill, director of the Fairbanks (AK) North Star Borough libraries. Story from Newsminer.
FAIRBANKS - “E-reader ownership doubles in six months,” proclaimed the headline to a recent Pew Research news release. However, careful readers note that the 100 percent jump was because e-book ownership among U.S. adults increased from 6 percent to 12 percent. Ownership of tablet computers like iPads and Xooms, by comparison, increased in that time period by only 3 percent. The ongoing economic crisis may be dampening consumer purchasing of electronic devices, and print book publishing is still flourishing, but Pew’s articles and the ballyhoo surrounding e-books generally is causing consternation for many print-book lovers.
“Consternation” comes from the Latin stem word “consternare,” which meant “overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm.” Many librarians embrace the convenience of e-books; after all, reading’s reading, right? Maybe not. An article from 2008 titled “Not Quite Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use” found that “On the average, Web page users have time to read at most 28 percent of the words during an average visit; 20 percent is more likely.” Being connected to social media like Facebook and Twitter multiplies the stream of messages, notices and interruptions that constantly bombard the technorati, the technologically proficient, and make sustained reading online difficult. -- Read More
Finding good information on the internet
The internet empowers us to educate ourselves and make more informed choices and decisions without leaving our couches. But if we believe everything we find on the internet, we are likely to wind up making some very poor decisions. In this new digital information age, how do we keep from being misinformed? As a skeptical environmental research scientist and educator I have picked up a few tricks that anyone can use to find and select high-quality information from the internet.
#1 Don’t be scared of scientific papers
#2 Not all websites are created equal
#3 Checking the facts
Dunn now providing home libraries to single moms
Dunn Foundation representatives will present books and education materials to two families who own homes in Tallahassee furnished by Dunn in his annual Home for the Holidays program. The goal is to provide them with materials to inspire their interest in reading and literacy.
Readers of all ages will dig out their red capes at the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library as they dive into adventure during this year's summer reading program, "Be a Hero -- Read."
From easy-to-master magic to teen gaming and turtles, children will find a litany of fun activities to help them get excited about reading.
Just look around the library -- Captain Read is everywhere.
Kris Hickey, the Whitehall branch children's manager, said this year's summer reading program is going back to its roots and focusing solely on reading. "We've just gone back to the literacy part of it," she said, "and this is a very literacy-based program."
No longer can participants earn credit for playing an online activity or attending one of the branch's many programs. What they will get credit for, though, is tackling a good book.
"I think as an organization, we decided literacy is really our main focus," said Hickey. "We look at getting everyone to read, then we work at keeping them focused and interested so they are ready for the next level when school starts."
More from Columbus Local News.
Over at Rescuing Reading, a new blog where a children's librarian attempts to bring some common sense and passion for literature back into the world of children's reading, the blogger continues her discussion of the dangers and pitfalls of enslavement to Lexile scores, with some commentary on the first 90 seconds or so of Metametrics' online promotional video about its Lexile scoring system. Among other trenchant observations:
When a child outgrows a shoe size, they can’t go back to wearing that size. They must move up. There is no other choice. It is not the same at all with reading. Kids can read at widely varying levels on any one day. Perhaps they read a comic book or magazine in the morning, their science textbook at school and an instruction manual for their new electronic toy in the afternoon and a favorite fiction author in the evening. These materials will all be written at different levels, and the decision to read each one is made for entirely different reasons.
The digital divide gets granular
"This makes me think that the digital divide may or may not be growing wider, but it’s growing more granular. As more and more aspects of our culture have a digital dimension, there are more and more ways to get confused, fall behind, and so on. And as more technology assumes an always-on or always-connected state to be the natural state, it becomes easier to have digital cracks in the sidewalk to jump over if you aren’t willing or able to pay for that kind of connectivity."
Medical journals have been called "an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies", because industry funding can affect a study’s results and/or the way those results are presented in the paper. When a paper with favourable results manages to pass through peer-review and get published in a major journal it is "worth thousands of pages of advertising." That is, first, because people who aren’t that affected by commercials (say, your doctor) take trials published by a major journal much more seriously . If the media pick up the paper as well, the pharmaceutical company can enjoy further advertising, this time straight to the general public.