Reader, Come Home

Reader, Come Home

The Reading Brain in A Digital World

Book - 2018
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"A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically with many concerned about both their own changes and that of children. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium. Drawing deeply on this research, this book comprises a series of letters Wolf writes to us—her beloved readers—to describe her concerns and her hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it unavoidably changes to adapt to digital mediums ... Wolf draws on neuroscience, literature, education, technology, and philosophy and blends historical, literary, and scientific facts with down-to-earth examples and warm anecdotes to illuminate complex ideas that culminate in a proposal for a biliterate reading brain. Provocative and intriguing, Reader, Come Home is a roadmap that provides a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this could mean for our future"--Publisher's website.
Publisher: New York :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Description: viii, 260 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062388780
Branch Call Number: 418.4019 Wol

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shayshortt
Oct 31, 2018

What drew me to Wolf’s perspective in grad school remains true of her approach to Reader, Come Home. While some critics raise an almost hysterical ballyhoo about the perils of the digital age, Wolf takes a more balanced and pragmatic attitude. She frequently references Socrates, who was an adamant opponent of the shift from an oral, dialectic method of learning, to one that relied on the written word. He was worried that students would never truly master a concept if they could look it up, rather than having to commit it firmly to memory. Sound familiar? Many a similar argument is raised about the digital shift, and while Wolf points out that Socrates was right that reading has changed the way we operate in the world, it has proved an invaluable tool for civilization. Her approach to digital technologies is much the same. What she is arguing for is essentially mindfulness, an observant approach to the changes that have already begun to subtly shape our reading lives, and will only more profoundly affect the reading lives of children who are just beginning their journey into literacy. Only by studying the evidence about what reading is doing for us, and how that is changing, can we make informed decisions about how we want to read, and how we want to teach future generations of children to read.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/10/25/reader-come-home/

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WoodneathReads
Oct 16, 2018

Reading researcher Wolf frames her research and reflections on the changing reading brain as a series of letters. Each one explains the ways the brain is changing as more of our reading takes place digitally, and the effects of those changes on the brain. What might we be losing because of that shift? Some of the answers might surprise you--short term memory, attention spans, comprehension might seem obvious. But other effects, like the loss of background knowledge to add context and be able to judge the accuracy of information and the loss of empathy that comes when we no longer engage in deep reading may not be as apparent and might have more troubling consequences. Wolf is not averse to technology, however, and presents some possible methods we can use to teach students to be able to effectively read both print and digitally. --Angie (See more of my picks by following WoodneathAngie)

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WoodneathAngie
Oct 16, 2018

Reading researcher Wolf frames her research and reflections on the changing reading brain as a series of letters. Each one explains the ways the brain is changing as more of our reading takes place digitally, and the effects of those changes on the brain. What might we be losing because of that shift? Some of the answers might surprise you--short term memory, attention spans, comprehension might seem obvious. But other effects, like the loss of background knowledge to add context and be able to judge the accuracy of information and the loss of empathy that comes when we no longer engage in deep reading may not be as apparent and might have more troubling consequences. Wolf is not averse to technology, however, and presents some possible methods we can use to teach students to be able to effectively read both print and digitally.

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shayshortt
Oct 31, 2018

Unlike in the past, we possess both the science and the technology to identify potential changes in how we read—and thus how we think—before such changes are fully entrenched in the population and accepted without our comprehension of the consequences.

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