Essay Writing Help on The Effects of Technologies on Our Reading Behavior

The Effects of Technologies on Our Reading Behavior

As technology continues to advance, students and educators are increasingly accessing reading materials in digital texts through the Internet. Digital texts are easily accessible through laptops and desktops, as well as on hand-held gadgets such as iPads and Notebooks. In countries such as the UK and US, electronic books have surpassed print books in terms of sales. However, some individuals are skeptical about digital media, as they believe that it is making them unintelligent. The question that I would like to answer is whether digitizing all reading materials, or using e-reader, will make learning more efficient than using printed copies.

It is indisputable that technology is advancing; the Internet has transformed the way we used to carry out certain activities. According to Hooper and Herath, the number of people who have access to the Internet has grown by 566% from 2002 to 2012 (51). This growth has led to a number of researches to assess changes in reading behavior among individuals due to increases in digital texts. The unique medium, as well as scalability of the Internet can stimulate students towards reading, as they can access numerous features that make it easy to read digital texts (Thoermer and Williams 441). Techniques such as Read-Alouds and Readers Theater can assist students to develop fluency in reading. These techniques lack in the print media. Students have the capacity to influence various programs, such as dictionary, font size, and note taking, to enhance their skills in learning. 

The extent to which digital technology has influenced learning efficiency concerns motivating students to use the available devices. The emergence of E-books led to invention of digital reading devices, which have enhanced easier access to e-books. The advantages of digital reading devices are that they are moveable, affordable, and capable of storing large content of text (Larson 280). Thus, the availability of e-books has made children and adults gain more access to books than before, a condition that has enhanced their reading skills. According to Larson, digital reading is entrenched in cognitive constructivist theory, which asserts that new knowledge can be gained through experience. This implies that exposure to digital texts has enhanced learning among adults and children.

Another question that needs to be answered is whether online resources can benefit all disciplines. Although adequate access to digital texts does not guarantee learning, abundance in scientific resources through the Internet has enabled students to expand their science skills. Reading online resources to enquire about science discipline is extremely difficult for many students because they lack patience, and do not have time to evaluate the credibility of information on the Web. While IdeaKeeper, a software to support online learning, was designed to enhance Web-based inquiry, the most essential goal is to support reading and sense making, as reading is vital for the achievement of online learning (Zhang 139). Unguided online reading does not enhance reading skills, especially among middle school students, who need to understand various concepts.  

On whether the Internet is making people stupid, Hooper and Herath have claimed that access to the Internet has been linked to lack of concentration, loss of memory, and deficiency in comprehension (53). Online users tend to skim-read through many texts; thus, they do not take time to comprehend information from the digital text. Sociologists have claimed that research skills may not develop efficiently when carried out online as this approach does not enhance accuracy of information. The internet has deceived people that everything they require is available online, but most of the information is not accurate. The notion that online reading may reduce the pleasure of reading has been termed as a cultural view, and not a cognitive phenomenon (Kretzschmar, et al.10). However, I believe that the Internet is not making us stupid, unless we want to become unintelligent.

Works Cited

Hooper, Val, and Channa Herath. “Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Impact of the Internet on Reading Behavior.” 27th Bled eConference eEcosystems, June 1-5, 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2015 https://domino.fov.uni-mb.si/proceedings.nsf/0/245b68041b843574c1257cee003df66a/$FILE/04_Hooper_Herath.pdf

Kretzschmar, Franziska, et al. “Subjective Impressions Do Not Mirror Online Reading Effort: Concurrent EEG-Eyetracking Evidence from the Reading of Books and Digital Media.” PLOS ONE, February 6, 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2015 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0056178 

Larson, Lotta C. “It’s Time to Turn the Digital Page.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56.4 (2012): 280-290.

Zhang, Meilan. “Supporting Middle School Students’ Online Reading of Scientific Resources: Moving Beyond Cursory, Fragmented, and Opportunistic Reading.” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (2013), 29: 138-152.