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The purpose of the assignment is to compare and contrast the source of research material available to a learner. We were first assigned to find a source from the Internet, and the second assignment was to find another source from the periodicals in the USCA library. This comparison will help each individual to determine the type of reading that benefits him or her the most. From these two sources, I learned a great deal of information about the different influences and ways that people learn. I recognize and agree that people can learn in different ways. I believe that as a person growing up in a technologically advanced world, that the current generation is more comfortable using information available from the Internet.
The first article that I read was "Digital Literacy," written by Richard Lanham. This article discussed how plain black and white text has become a thing of the past. The article states that reading material is now available on the web that contains a combination of audio and graphics and is the new method of written communication. The second article was "Teaching and Learning Literacy With Technology," written by Philip Molebash and Douglas Fisher. This article discussed the growing interaction of people with technology and writing. Both articles discuss the growing use of technology. While both articles had a similar message, what interested me was that I discovered the first article on the more advanced form of technology (the internet) while the second article was found in a more traditional research setting (the library).
The two articles demonstrate a contrast in presentation style. One difference is the way that the text is presented. An article that is on the Internet can have graphics and lots of color; most of the articles that are written in periodicals are in just plain black and white text. Some find that it is easier to read plain black and white text; others like the ability of reading the text with different colors and graphics to keep their attention. I personally find it easier to read text on the Internet for the graphics. Scrolling is also one of the things that I find most convenient things when using the Internet versus regular text. This saves lots of time when looking for a specific point, rather than flipping through pages in a book or print out.
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Another reason that I find the Internet a better resource than the plain text, is the levels of convenience that it brings to the reader. The reader may at any time of day or any day of the week access the article from home, school, work, or even at a friend's house. Use of the periodical article restricts your access to the hours that the facility is open. You also have to hope that the article/book you are looking for is available. There is also the expense of making copies, so that you can take the information home with you. Additionally, many students have to balance their class work with part-time jobs and other personal interests that many accessibility a major factor. Most students have or know someone that has a computer and Internet connection. With today's technology, we have people that can even access the Internet from their cell phones as well as a connection when they are traveling. These are some of the factors that contribute to the reason why the use of the Internet is more convenient then the use of the library.
Something that one also must consider when doing research is which type of reading keeps their interest. For me the computer screen helps to keep my interest. I find it more difficult to concentrate when I am reading plain black text on white paper. Reading something on the computer where there is more color, graphics, and other objects helps keep my interest. When doing research you must find the method that keeps your interest and that allows you to learn more easily. Some people find it is easier to learn reading from the paper format, where as other find it a lot easier to learn from the computer, because it keeps their attention and helps them to interpret the text. I am one of those people that find that the Internet keeps my interest better, and that I learn more from the article than I would have by just reading printed text.
The main reason why people prefer different ways has to do with how they were taught how to do their research, and their comfort level with how they do their research. I believe this can also be tied to a generation factor. For example, my parents grew up using the library as a source to find information and do research so they were more accustomed to that type of research style. Now that my brother and I have introduced them to use the Internet for research, they have become very familiar with it and accustomed to it. Now that they know how to use the Internet for research, they are more comfortable with using this style of research rather than making a trip to the library. This hypothesis can also apply to the students in my class. If they were originally taught or are more accustomed to using the library to do research, they may have a higher comfort level with that approach to their research. There are more likely a larger number of students like myself, that are more accustomed to using the Internet to conduct their research than those that prefer to use the more traditional approach. Some may prefer the interaction with other people in the library, where others might find it a distraction to their research. Personally, I prefer to restrict my interaction to allow greater concentration on the task. If I go to the library with other students or people I know, I find it easy to socialize but more difficult to get any of my research done. These are some of the reasons that other people find different methods of research easier for them.
I recognize and agree that people can and do learn in different ways. This belief comes from growing up in a technologically advanced world. The current generation is more comfortable using information available from the Internet. This paper has identified some of the main reasons that Internet is preferred more than text in my generation. Some of those that I have identified include comfort level, readability, interest level, learning method, interruptions, convenience, adjustment of the text, and availability.