Jack Uldrich
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Unlearning the Written Word

Posted in Agriculture, Books, Business, Computer Industry, Education, General, History, Legal, Marketing, Media, Newspaper, Paper

Live_inkWhat if I told you that you could improve your reading comprehension rate by 20 percent. Would you do it?

Since you are reading this blog, my guess is that the answer would be "yes." Well, you can, but it will require that you unlearn how you currently access the written word.

I recently wrote a longer article entitled, "The Future of Reading," which explains a revolutionary new technology dubbed Live Ink. I invite you to watch a visual demonstration of the technology here; but, in its simplest form, the company’s technology displays written text in shorter lines; breaks the text into grammatically meaningful segments; and then indents the text to cue the brain to key phrases within a given sentence.

What immediately appealed to me about Live Ink’s technology was the notion that written text as it was historically formatted was not optimized for the human mind. In other words, while it is true that we can read long line-by-line text that does not imply that it is necessarily the best or only method for the human eye to read words or for the human mind to comprehend written information.

Just imagine the possibilities as ever more schools convert textbooks into electronic formats that can easily handle Live Ink’s technology — student reading comprehension rates could skyrocket. Similarly, any person or business executive who reads a great deal for his or her job and accesses that information on their computer screen or cellphone screens, could begin perusing more websites, electronics books, and magazine and journal articles in a way that places less strain on their eyes and allows them to retain more of the relevant information.

Before this vision can be achieved, however, it is likely that school administrators, book and magazine editors, as well as bloggers will have to unlearn the idea that the written word can only be displayed in printed block format — in the exact same way that Johannes Gutenberg did it 500 years ago.

(For the record, I have spoken with officials at Live Ink and I am hoping to be able to display this blog in this exciting and revolutionary format at some point in the near future.)

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