As I read through this article, so many things went through my mind. First, it made me reflect on how I grew up and the ways that I learned to read and write. When I was growing up, the use of high speed internet was a relatively new thing and it was not a given that everyone had the use of the internet. Because of that, most of my assignments in elementary/middle school were all in paper format. Therefore, I grew up knowing and using paper for things like taking notes and writing papers. Fast forward to my college career, and now it seems like most of my assignments are all either on the internet or at least on the computer. Long story short, I've experienced assignments both on and off the computer, and to be honest, I definitely prefer my assignments and readings to be in paper rather than electronic. My first reason for this is because the computer poses a huge threat of distraction. Combining my assignments with distractions does not help much with procrastination. I can only imagine kids today, using the internet for homework, being overwhelmed with distraction because of their lack of self control (at their age). My second reason for this is because I think there is definitely something to writing things out that a person just cannot get from using the internet and typing. This is why I still, to this day, hand write all of my notes when I'm in class and when I'm studying. I think it is majorly important for the learning process for the brain to have to process the information coming in enough to then write it back out- whether it's writing answers or simply copying something down. As for reading for leisure goes, I do not like reading online at all. There is something about having a book in my hands, feeling and smelling the pages, that makes the whole experience. I also feel that there are, again, way to many distractions with reading online. When I go to read an article or story online, I have to get past and ignore about 50 or so advertisements just to focus on what I'm trying to read. Even then, I find advertisements placed directly in the paragraphs of my reading! The brain has to take in so much extra sensory information while using a computer/internet to read that it's hard to focus on the meaning of what you're reading and nearly impossible to find yourself immersed in the reading.
Don't get me wrong, here. I completely understand the importance for kids to learn how to use computers and the internet. The internet is a great resource and there are infinite possibilities for learning within it. However, do I think that kids need to spend all of their time on the internet? No. And I surely do not think that they need to be taught how to read via the internet, nor should they be tested on it. There still needs to be an emphasis on reading text on paper and in books. Kids should be taught study skills on paper, because there is nothing quite like being able to annotate in pencil and highlight on a paper or in a text book. The information just does not get ingrained as well while using a computer and putting a screen between the information and the reader.
I guess my question for discussion would be, do you think kids should be taught how to regulate their time on the internet? Meaning, should they be taught the difference between electronic resources and paper resources, the dangers and downfalls of electronic resources, and how to regulate their time between both? Would that be an effective compromise between the sides of this argument? And should there still be an emphasis on the study skills and resources that are not available on the computer?