Technology Makes Reading Better. Here’s Exactly How.

by Terry Heick

Let me be clear right away: I prefer physical books with soft (but a durable, right-kind-of-soft) covers.

In general, I dislike Readers as a matter of personal preference. This post, however, is not about what I ‘like.’ It’s also not about sentimentality. Rather, this is about how technology can make reading better for most people in most circumstances.

What Is Reading?

Recently I created a quick list of apps that support close-reading.

In that post, I theorized that “close-reading is the product of a dynamic and deeply personal interaction between the reader and a text. It is an active process characterized by questioning, adjusting reading rate, judgment thinking, and dozens of other reading strategies readers use to make sense of what they’re reading.”

Most teachers know what close-reading is. The part that I found most interesting was the seemingly alien idea of technology promoting patient reading. Apps, for example—how on earth can a tablet or an app or an iPad or headphones or some other gadget help with the focus, patience, curiosity, and will to sit with a text and make sense of it? The opposite seems more likely.

And that’s certainly possible. There is no ‘truth’ here. In one setting with one student in one kind of classroom, technology could…

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