|Technology reinvigorates reading interest|
|Written by Kelley Bowles, Vidette Reporter|
|Sunday, 24 February 2013 15:26|
Students today are constantly swamped with reading for class, and with the constantly evolving technology of today, students are using the new gadgets to their advantage.
Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-readers and online newspapers are changing the way students read and stay informed today. Social media has become a major aspect of everyday life, and all around campus students have been gradually turning these online forums to take care of class work.
To appeal to students, many teachers have begun using Facebook to communicate with students and hold discussions as well.
“I use and I have used tools that allow for interaction between students such as blogs, Facebook, Google Docs, online polls and surveys and discussion boards,” John MacLean, English graduate assistant, said.
Along with social media, e-readers are making a major impact on students’ reading habits.
In a Chicago Tribune article from Feb. 2013, author Alistair Barr found in a recent Amazon presentation “consumers who bought a Kindle in 2011 read 4.6 times more e-books, on average, in the 12 months following their gadget purchase, compared with the 12 months before getting the device.”
Students around campus have found that their e-readers are giving them the incentive to read more books.
Alyssa Groh, freshman English major, has found that an e-reader has been beneficial to her reading habits.
“Since I have started to use the Nook I have read books faster than I have before with an actual hard copy of a book,” Groh said.
The latest e-reader, the Kindle Fire, has internet access and applications that keep people intrigued and brings a fresh approach to reading.
Although e-readers are convenient and growing in popularity, some teachers are also questioning their effects on students.
E-readers create short cuts when it comes to research and scanning, and changes the way we read and write. MacLean says that although there are advantages with the new technology available today, there are also limitations.
One of the big questions today is whether these new advances in technology will eventually take hard copies of books off the shelves. E-readers are well liked for being easy to carry and being able to download a novel with the click of a button.
Groh thinks that they are easier to travel with and saving paper, but doesn’t feel like students should rely only on technology. On the other hand, MacLean feels like books won’t quite go extinct.
“There will always be people who like ‘real’ paper-based books,” MacLean said.
Although this new technology comes naturally to most students, teachers have watched it emerge over the last few years and have seen the way education is changing.
“I emphasize to my students how much easier it is to do research today than when I was doing my undergraduate or even MA studies in the early 80s and 90s. I guess I want them to appreciate what they have,” MacLean said.
New technology has made it easier for students to access what they need in a book, and the internet has opened up many more resources that we can find in minutes.
Whether you prefer a good read with the click of a button or the turn of a page, technology has a major impact in everyday life.