Saturday, January 30, 2010

Internet Reading

I just finished reading the article, “Reading on the Internet: The link between literacy and technology”, written by Elizabeth Schmar-Dolber. The article discussed the similarities and differences between reading plain text and reading internet resources, i.e., websites, emails, blogs, wikis, etc. The article also discussed how the definition of literacy is rapidly changing due to the ever expanding world of the Web 2.0. The internet is changing how we need to teach literacy. It is no longer enough to teach reading and comprehension strategies that relate only to books, and printed materials. We, teachers, have to acknowledge the fact that students do a large portion of their reading on the computer.

One portion of the article discussed the special demands that reading on the internet puts on student readers; for instance, “A reader must be able to evaluate all the features of a webpage and quickly decide which one will likely be the most helpful in accessing information”, or “the Internet reader must be able to handle the sheer volume of text”. These are two distinct ideas that a reader must be aware of when they are reading on the internet.

Flickr Image Accessed From: San Jose Library

Basically, I think this article is emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the difference between reading on the internet and reading plain text. In order to create successful, literate students, we need to address these differences with our students. I think many teachers are scared of technology and they would rather have students go to the computer lab once a week/month to do who knows what. Really, internet reading and using the Web 2.0 needs to a consistent pass time in schools and classrooms. In order for students to gain competency and acquire the correct strategies for reading comprehension on the internet they have to practice, and I think that practice needs to start early.


  1. I completely agree with many of the things you are saying in your post! One of the things that stuck out to me the most was the quote used from the article, regarding the importance of teaching students to quickly evaluate the features of a web-page. I was trying to think back to my own experiences in elementary and middle school, and when first learning to use the computers and learn literacy on the computer, I could not really remember getting any instruction in how to search a website. It is important that we as teachers are able to properly instruct the students on how to search things on the internet and get the most benefits possible from learning literacy online. Now more than ever, our technology world is expanding so it is vital that we are preparing students to not only familiarize themselves with the new technology, but also with the means to help their literacy by properly searching the internet. Although I do not personally feel very comfortable with all the new technologies that can be incorporated into teaching, I will strive to include the internet into literacy learning in my future classroom, in order to benefit the students so they can reach their full potential in academics.

  2. So I completely agree with your entire post. But as I commented in Brooke's post some teachers only have the option of putting their classroom into the computer lab once a week. As a teacher if you only had this to work with what would you do? How could technology enter your classroom in other ways?