Friday, May 14, 2010

Digital Reading

The way we write and read has changed over the centuries. From people carving on stone to writing hieroglyphics to scrolls. Those methods are now gone. The revolutionary invention of the printing press,again changed the way we communicate. these technique have evolved over time and as technology allowed. Printed material has been a part of our lives for centuries and now we are faces with a new technology and a new way to read. The Internet has played a dominant factor in the way we receive materials. We can see that as newspapers are trying to stay alive and print material is available to us online in electronic format. Because of the rapid growth of the Internet and online reading, it was simply easier to take what was printed and duplicate it in an electronic format. But Web browser are not designed for the reading of large volume of text and portray it in a much different way than the printed page. Also, when people are using Web browsers they have intentions or are lured away to other tempting things to do on the Web. Recently, book readers like Kindle and the Sony reader have given those who wish to read electronically, the ability to do so offline. Still, there is a lot of material online that we wish to consume because it is at our finger tips but as the Web is a much different animal than the printer page, it must be digested in a different way.

Just as we were taught to read books and we had outing to the library to learn how to use the Dewey Decimal system effectively (even the first course in my PhD studies was a course in effective and proper research technique), we must teach student how to properly find, read, digest and critically analyze what they read on the Web. Some will say that we need to encourage student to read real books. That is true but they also need to be taught on how to use new media.

After all, if we don't teach them how to use the new electronic reading media, what will they do when the printed book is gone.

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