More and more kids spend long hours on the Internet. At the same time, reading scores are declining. Is there a connection? Does the brain work differently with a book than with a computer? What’s the impact on reading proficiency? Should schools recognize that young people are on the Internet and teach them how to use it well? Also, the scientist facing indictment in the anthrax case dies in apparent suicide, and slugger Manny Ramirez outlived his welcome from the Boston Red Sox. We hear what the LA Dodgers may be in for.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Shortly after 9/11, anthrax showed up in mailings that killed five people, crippled the Post Office, shut down a Senate office building and spread fear that terrorists were striking again. Tuesday, the FBI's prime suspect died from apparent suicide. He was 62-year old Bruce Ivins, for 18 years a research scientist at the Army's bio-defense research lab at Ft. Detrick, Maryland. Reporter Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post has more.
The National Endowment for the Arts has a program called The Big Read, encouraging Americans to read books and talk about them together. The NEA program is one response to a disturbing finding: Americans are reading less and reading less well. That's according to an analysis of 40 different studies. Human beings are not genetically programmed to read; they have to learn over time—by reading books. But books are giving way to the Internet. As reading scores decline, some researchers claim the Internet is promoting quick, superficial thinking instead of the wisdom that comes with patient study. Nobody wants to get rid of books, but kids spend more time on the Internet. Should schools teach them to use it critically? Should Internet 1A be part of the basic curriculum?
Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research and Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts
Maryanne Wolf, Director, Tufts University's Center for Reading and Language Research
Elizabeth Birr Moje, Professor of Literacy, Language and Culture, University of Michigan
Lee Siegel, writer and author
In seven and a half seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Manny Ramirez was an eight-time All Star. He's hit 500 homers and is guaranteed for the Hall of Fame. Ramirez showed up for spring training on this year and in great shape, but after that, things started to go down hill. Now the Red Sox have shipped him off, as glad to get rid of him as the Los Angeles Dodgers are to pick him up. Amalie Benjamin covers the Red Sox for the Boston Globe.