Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Digital vs haptic reading (Something just clicked . . . )

Linked is a summary of a talk by Anne Mangen of Stavenger University in Norway that looks at the impact of eReaders on reading comprehension. Are you now an eReader? Or still a "dead-tree-ite?" The consequences of the shift toward eReading, like the shift away from handwriting instruction and even keyboard entry in writing, are just beginning to be addressed in research. What is lost or gained in "Kindle-ing" a novel as opposed to holding a hardcover book in your hands as you experience the story? For some--and this is certainly related to personal cognitive wiring--the difference can be striking.

Reading Mangen's comments examining particularly the hands as haptic agents in the reading and writing processes, I was also "struck" (a near haptic occurrence!) by the parallel between typical disembodied pronunciation instruction and the EHIEP approach. Although we do focus on the visual space in front of the learner extensively in early training, precise hand movement and touching of one hand with the other or touching the head or upper body is key. The haptic video EHIEP package involves almost continuous pedagogical movement patterns conducted by the hands. As we find ourselves being rapidly pulled down the "eRabbit hole" we can still grasp ( 掴む) the felt sense of expressive oral language in interpersonal communication and reconnect with our bodies and voices . . . handily . . . 

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