InfTars - Információs Társadalom
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Full Article: [pdf] DOI: Language: en Author(s):  Krisztina Szabó
Title: „Not Exactly Reading” Subtitle: The Nature of Reading in the Era of Screen Abstract: Digitalisation and technological innovations have confused our traditional theories of reading; key-concepts of literacy (e.g., reading and writing, text and context, comprehension, reception, and interpretation) have become slurred and vexed, including teaching and assessing reading. This confusion resulted in a debate that, among other issues, has provoked the question of whether digital reading can be considered as reading, or it is just a distraction from reading. (Coyle 2008; Badulescu 2016) To decide on this dilemma, I suggest three attributes: (1) act, (2) reading material, and (3) device that can determine the reading. Concerning their relation, the device (the third attribute) determines the reading material (the second attribute) and the act of reading (first attribute). The consideration of the significance of the device is in harmony with McLuhan 1967’s ideas about the determining role of medium and technological determinism; however, it is not a necessary presumption of my ideas. Based on the above three attributes, I claim that digital reading is reading, but a special, extended version. Digital reading shows various similarities to print reading but also differences as well; however, these latter are not that significant that could validate the exclusion of digital reading from the category of reading or qualify it as a mere distraction. Moreover, applying digital devices for reading besides traditional reading means a new opportunity for comprehension and cognitive development, and these are essentials in improving the reading skills of future generations. Engaging children in the complex mental, physical, and sensual experience that reading can give, irrespectively of the type of reading, is the biggest challenge to accomplish in the field of reading in the 21 st century.
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