Reading at 900 words per minute – Mark Morton

Road_Runner_cartoonHere’s an interesting new piece of software: it’s called RapidReader, and it purports to allow you to double or triple your reading speed by flashing a document onto your computer screen one word at a time, at a rate of up to 950 words per minute. Being a skeptic by temperament, I was surprised to discover that the program actually works: I was able to read an online newspaper article at about double my normal reading speed. The increased speed, I suspect, comes from not having to move your eyes across a line of text — instead, you just “take in” the words as they appear successively in the same spot. Moreover, I think that I understood and retained as much of the newspaper article using RapidReader as I would have if I had read it in a conventional fashion.

Now, I wouldn’t want to use RapidReader for reading a really long document because it does demand fairly intense concentration; nor would I want to use RapidReader when I’m reading for pleasure. But if I had a twenty-page document and I had to have it read for a meeting that started in ten minutes — I would definitely do so using RapidReader.

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Mark Morton

As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare.

One thought on “Reading at 900 words per minute – Mark Morton”

  1. Readers who are not sure they want to fork out cash to see if they like the application may want to try the freeware item iReadFast. It actually seems to go above 950 wpm.

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