by Martin Cothran

“Reading something on a screen—as opposed to a printout—causes people to home in on details and but not broader ideas, according to a new article by Geoff Kaufman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and Mary Flanagan, a professor at Dartmouth.”

That’s the report in the Washington Post about a new study by Dartmouth researchers who analysed the relative ability of two groups of participants read the same thing on a print out and an on-screen pdf file, respectively.

“Digital screens almost seem to create a sort of tunnel vision where you’re focusing on just the information you’re getting this moment, not the broader context,” Kaufman said.

The article is based on a series of studies involving a total of more than 300 participants that were carried out while the two researchers worked together at Tiltfactor, a Dartmouth game design lab.

… “Over time, it might lead to an evolution of thought that’s less inclined to look at the bigger picture,” he said.

The new study is just the latest in a fairly consistent stream of recent research that questions the learning benefits of computer and online technology.

Categories: Exordium

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