Thanks to a fellow TVI/O&M for finding this article about those people who still read paper books. While the article does not specifically discuss braille, we were both wondering the implications of reading on a refreshable braille display. Even the longest braille display can’t hold a large complex sentence nor can the ‘placement’ on the page or in the book be used as a reference. Since it has only been a short time in human history that we readily read paper books, we have only just become proficient at this skill (if we look at it compared to human history).
As we move to digital textbooks, digital text in high stakes assessments, and digital learning in an online environment, one has to wonder if this is really what is best for our students. While there are still many, many adults who fear the digital age because it is ‘new’, we have come to learn that not all ‘new’ things are best. I wonder if we will find out that paper text still has something magical.
I, myself, use the printed page as a reference when reading complex materials. I find myself skimming the online text more than digging deeper into it. With the push to have students analyze text … are we ourselves analyzing text digitally as much as we are asking them????
Check out the article (which has hot links in it’s text for the research used) here: http://mic.com/articles/99408/science-has-great-news-for-people-who-read-actual-books