My family knows quite well that if they want me to comprehend, much less remember, anything lately, it has to be written down. I listen to and enjoy sambear’s podcasts, but I have to get rid of all other input because I can’t handle any other input at the same time. I learn best via text.
Eide Neurolearning Blog, one of my favorites, has a great recent entry on such differences:
Brain of a Podcaster or Blogger?
Because the brain networks for reading and listening are different, some of us will be much better at reading blogs, while others of us will be much better with podcasts. This may be one of the most important learning style differences we have in the classroom or even in our workplaces.
In the figure below, the hot colors show what the brain looks like when it reads a sentence, and the cool colors, when it hears a sentence. There are areas of overlap (check out the paper below to see that Figure), but large areas of difference as well. Podcasts likely activate more on the “right” side of the brain, than blogs (in the figure, right and left are “reversed” according to radiology conventions).
How well suited are schools to brains of bloggers vs. podcasters? It might vary quite a bit, depending on the teacher. At times, a great discrepancy can exist between the two routes (much better with reading / much better with listening) so that it really needs to be looked for. Whenever we have a student who really bottoms out language-heavy questions, we check whether they can perform much better if the questions are available to be read (minimizing auditory working verbal working memory), the questions can be read to them.