At Oak Meadow we believe in the power of print, that reading on paper encourages more effective reading and comprehension skills than reading on a digital screen. Leading research on learning and cognitive development show that:
- reading printed materials encourages active reading skills such as writing margin notes; highlighting key phrases and vocabulary; and noting questions, thoughts, and personal responses;
- reading on screens drains mental resources and diminishes the brain’s ability to integrate information in the context of an entire text, thereby decreasing overall comprehension;
- excessive screen time during adolescence reduces attention span, lowers executive functioning skills, and impairs relationship with adults and peers.
We choose to use technology as a relevant tool for creativity, communication, and collaboration, but not primarily to provide curriculum content. Here’s an article from The Washington Post about what the author describes as a “peculiar irony”: “Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.”
And here are several articles and an interesting video that describe and demonstrate the importance of handwriting, which Oak Meadow also supports as an important component of our approach to learning.
- “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades”; New York Times
- “The Importance of Teaching Handwriting”; Reading Rockets
- “The Importance of Handwriting Instruction”; Psychology Today
- “How Handwriting Trains the Brain”; Wall Street Journal
- “Master Penman Jake Weidmann”; on YouTube