Rand Spiro, professor of educational psychology, is lead editor of “Reading at a Crossroads? Disjunctures and Continuities in Current Conceptions and Practices,” recently published by Routledge. The book examines how the Internet is transforming reading and learning-through-reading with contributions from distinguished experts in the field.
Spiro, along with four alumni, co-edited the book.
“Too much of learning and instruction, whether through talk or reading, is linear,” Spiro said. “And our increasingly complex world just isn’t like that. By reading across the Web, which is a more fluid medium, learners can potentially apprehend more of that complexity and thus apply their knowledge better in new situations.”
Spiro’s co-editors include:
- Michael DeSchryver, Ph.D. ’12, assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development at Central Michigan University
- Michelle Schira Hagerman, Ph.D. ’14, director of graduate certificate programs in Educational Technology and Online Teaching and Learning at MSU
- Penny Thompson, Ph.D. ’12, assistant professor of educational technology at Oklahoma State University
- Paul M. Morsink, a spring 2015 graduate in the college’s doctoral Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program
Together, they gathered perspectives and insight from experts across the nation about reading, writing and learning online.
Spiro also co-wrote one of the chapters, “All Bets Are Off.” The chapter focuses on how certain kinds of reading to learn on the Web are different from reading from text. Morsink also contributed to two chapters (“Reading at a Million Crossroads” and “Neglected Areas of Instruction,” respectively).
“Things are changing about the nature of reading,” Spiro continued. “The reader can more than ever be an author of his or her understanding, combining information that comes from different perspectives on a topic to form richer, deeper understandings.”
Spiro previously has published four other books, including: “Schooling and Acquisition of Knowledge” (Lawrence Eribaum Associates, 1977), “Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension” (Routledge, 1980), “Cognition, Education and Multimedia: Exploring Ideas in High Technology” (Routledge, 1990) and “Hypertext and Cognition” (Lawrence Eribaum Associates, 1996).
“Reading at a Crossroads” was published in March 2015. More information about the book—and extensions beyond it—can be found at readingatacrossroads.net. The website treats the “crossroads” idea seriously by “building toward the future with discussions by experts and innovative activities that point ahead, to the other side of reading’s crossroads, allowing the book to dynamically evolve,” Spiro said.