Brenda Allen

    On the face of it, so-called digital natives, many never having known anything else, often appear to have adapted exclusively to online reading. They have certainly grown up to possess some highly enhanced scanning abilities.  Having myself immigrated back in the mists of time, I (like plenty of us who had no screen technology in our childhoods, as many round the globe still do not) have also long adapted to an everyday variety of on screen reading.  Other varieties – such as reading and ENJOYING a novel, dissecting a long academic tract or getting a rapid overview on a vast hardback volume  – not so much!  (Though, admittedly, I could try harder and may well do so some day.  Could this be a case of Needs Must When the Devil Drives?)  No matter how digitally acculturated we might all have become, I feel there is still a sense of a lot being lost along the way.  Indeed, I have recently been observing a trend amongst young UK undergraduates who seem to have reverted – if not quite to quill pen and parchment – to notebook and fountain pen and to reading huge, learned tomes in their entirety.  Maybe it is that retro appeal? Or a nod to Tactility – a “Learning Style”, like the Visual style mentioned, maybe more universal than once acknowledged? Or maybe this speaks to some deeper processing issues? Thanks for the insight into the citations @robj, and your wry remarks made me chuckle.  As previously commented, it would be revealing to delve into more recent research. It is surely of great relevance as to how we approach the design of online reading materials and how they can best be exploited…