Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thinking and computer screens

I belong to a number of mailing lists and on one recently there was a discussion of digitising textbooks. In the light of that I wish to make a few comments. 
I work with computers all the time, 3/4s of my waking hours are spent in front of a screen, so I am used to computers. However when I need to read important documents that I have to cognitively engage with, I need it in printed format in my hand. I have had to review journal articles, and edit book and thesis chapters – small formatting functions can be seen on screen but not faults of conceptual design. 
I think the rush to computer screen needs to be done with great care. 


BGR said...

Pam isn't it a genrational thing? I am a book worm and find that the idea of reading a favourite book via e-reader leaves me somewhat cold. I like the idea of holding the book in my hand, making notes in the margin etc.
It's the same way for music, I still like the actual physical product - I use mp3 for mobile purposes but I like the original deal.
Another thing I have found rather interesting is that the price of electronic books is only marginally cheaper - so to save R10-R20 (compared on average on Kalahari) I am just not sold on e-books from the above perspective.
My 2 centsc

Dr Pam Miller said...

I do not know if it is a generational thing. I thought that that problem would have been cancelled out by my continued use of the computer. But then again I do not know if young people see faults in conceptual design. Maybe it is because the young people do not use Outline format/Table of Contents format to structure their thoughts, or do not have that conceptual ability, but documents I am getting to check do not seem to be cognitively sound.