When I chose to research the dynamic of reading on digital devices, as compared to physical books, it was because I wanted to learn a bit more about what researchers have found about the advantages and limitations of each.
Rationale for Topic Selection:
As an English teacher, I have certainly seen the change in reading habits from 2000, when I first entered the classroom, to now and wanted to inquire further. I also chose to research this topic because my own children, ages 9 and 11, have been turning to digital devices for their reading. As I observe their reading habits, I notice that there was a difference in their reading experiences and abilities to relay what they read when they used physical books, as compared to digital devices. I hoped that my inquiry would shed some light in this area and allow me to further support my children and students.
Essentially, I found that younger and developing readers have should spend time reading physical copies of books and less time on digital reading devices. Essentially, books allow for tactile and sensory, as well as aesthetic experiences that encourage positive reading habits. An interesting finding is that the entire landscape of the text supports the reader’s mental picture construction and visible locations act as footprints through the journey of the text. While digital devices are extremely convenient in that an entire library may be carried around in one’s pocket, they are dependent on battery power and connectivity to WiFi or the Internet. Other positive features of digital devices include access to dictionary definitions and voice readers. However, both research and anecdotal evidence suggest that readers are most likely to skim when reading on digital devices. A very interesting finding is that is that avid and mature readers do well with digital devices; however, for younger readers, the tactile experience of a physical book is key to support reading comprehension and foster positive reading habits.
Creating an Infographic:
Like anything new, communicating my findings in the form of a infographic posed some challenges; however, I feel like it was important for me to have this experience because it forced me to consider purpose, form and audience in a new way. Personally, I am a lover of words and that is where my comfort, as a communicator, lies. However, as I went through the process, I became increasingly comfortable with the task. Below is the procedure that I followed and it is also a suggested procedural list for anyone who would like to take on the task of creating their first infographic:
- Topic Selection
- Gather information from multiple (reliable, credible, varied) sources and synthesize that information to begin drawing conclusions
- Engage in follow-up research and continue to draw conclusions
- Research infographics as a form, including norms, variations and available tools
- Identify targeted audience
- Begin creating infographic to fit the needs of purpose and audience.
- Keep track of all resources used for works cited and works consulted pages
- Edit and Revise as necessary to support purpose
- Publish content