Questions for ‘Will you learn better from reading on screen or on paper?’

a tween girl hand writes on notebook paper at a desk while reading a laptop screen

Computers are very much a part of education today. But books and paper are still a good way to learn information. Depending on the material, they can be the easiest way, studies find.

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To accompany “Will you learn better from reading on screen or on paper?


Before Reading:

1.  In a typical day, where do you read the most text — on a printed page or on some digital screen?

2.  If you have a long passage to read for class, would you prefer to read it on paper or on the screen of some digital device? Why?

During Reading:

1.  Patricia Alexander says students tend to think they learn better in which format (print or digital screens)? Based on her analyses, are those students right?

2.  Maryanne Wolf says reading is not natural. What does she mean by that? What evidence does she give to support that point of view?

3.  Naomi Baron discusses the role of “mindset” when people read something on a digital device. What does she mean by this?

4.  Why can scrolling affect how well you understand what you read, according to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang?

5.  What’s the length of a passage over which Patricia Alexander has found that reading in print can be more impactful than reading online?

6.  What types of distractions does Jenae Cohn argue can make it especially difficult to understand what you’re reading on a screen?

7.  List five potential advantages for reading online that you learned about in the article.

8.  What are at least five tips that the article offers to help readers get the most out of their digital reading?

After Reading:

1.  Make a list of the claims in this article about how print can be a more impactful way to read or how certain techniques while reading can improve your comprehension. Work as a class to choose one or two of these and then design a way to test them in your classroom. Afterward, analyze the data you collect and report your findings.