As someone who sometimes reads like I have ADD, I was very interested in Joanne Jacobs' take on the new digital reading style of many teenagers. I find myself reading differently if I'm on the Internet or if I'm reading a hard-copy book. Internet reading is more like skimming to see if there's something to return to when I have more time.
How does this new digital reading style affect classroom learning? It's important for secondary school students to know how to pull meaning out of written words. To learn this skill, they need to be coached. Kristie Betts Letter in her "Reader's Handbook" explains how to develop these critical skills. Since most teens read only because they have to, teachers can be helpful in explaining to students how they can read more efficiently and how to discern the purpose of different types of reading.
Additionally, the sheer volume of information now available requires different types of skills, such as how to filter out what information is beneficial versus what is not. Plus, students should be learning these types of skills while they're texting during class and trying not to get caught. Last year I even watched a high school student texting during a choir performance; not a smart move since she was on the end of a row and clearly visible to the audience.
Much has been reported about "distracted driving," but what about "distracted learning"? How will today's students learn to read with comprehension while they're texting, chatting on Facebook and surfing the Internet all at the same time? Today's teachers must possess different classroom management skills and make use of different teaching strategies.