Anyone reading this post right now — whether on your computer, tablet or smartphone — knows that the interfaces for reading have indeed changed. Whereas just a decade ago, touchscreens were still a novelty, today they permeate our lives. And, according the Pew Internet Project, teens have a device ownership rate of 68 percent for smartphones and, overall, 91 percent for cell phones.
As devices proliferate, the amount of information we encounter each day grows. Despite their access to more substantive reading material, however, our students are most often consuming what journalist Clive Thompson calls “short form” writing — status updates, tweets, text messages — without digging into other texts.