Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2-20-2020

Department

Education

Abstract

In this commentary, the author explores the tension between almost 30 years of work that has embraced increasingly complex conceptions of digital reading and recent studies that risk oversimplifying digital reading as a singular entity analogous with reading text on a screen. The author begins by tracing a line of theoretical and empirical work that both informs and complicates our understanding of digital literacy and, more specifically, digital reading. Then, a heuristic is proposed to systematically organize, label, and define a multifaceted set of increasingly complex terms, concepts, and practices that characterize the spectrum of digital reading experiences. Research that informs this heuristic is used to illustrate how more precision in defining digital reading can promote greater clarity across research methods and advance a more systematic study of promising digital reading practices. Finally, the author discusses implications for assessment, research, practice, and policy.

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