Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reading Online Articles

Reading online articles is hard work, at least, it's hard work for me. I don't enjoy digital media because I leave it feeling stretched out, confused, anxious, and with the nagging feeling that I've just wasted precious time. Educators are beginning to assign more digital articles to students because they're convenient, free, and easily accessible, but what price does the student pay for this convenience? I'm easily distracted and reading online makes me feel like I am on edge and waiting for the article to end, lead me somewhere else via hyperlink, or to Wikipedia with a question or sudden thought. Normally, when educators assign me an online article I convert it to a PDF and print it, but now I'd like to experiment with digital annotation applications because I think it's time for me to embrace the digital world—it's not going to suddenly go away (even if I want it to). For Konnikova's "Being a Better Online Reader", I downloaded an app called PDF Reader, which is a simple PDF annotation device. 

The image above shows the control options available to the annotator. You can add text (which is a little awkward, as seen lower down), highlight text, cross out text, and there are a few other options that I have yet to explore. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to continue using this app, but I think it covers the basics. If I could change one thing, then I would make the "add text" option more versatile. As you can see below, the text is large, awkward, and confrontational. There might be a way to change it, but I will need to play around a little more and uncover all the functions.

I found this app in the App Store and I chose it because it is free and has a higher user rating than any other app. It works on my Macbook Pro and can be viewed full screen, which makes me feel slightly more engaged in the task at hand. I recommend other people to try it and play around with the "add text" option because that is my only area of complaint.

As far as the article, it makes a lot of sense. I have a difficult time reading texts online and I had a difficult time reading this article because, if I need to be critical, then it is challenging for me to connect to words and sentences when they're on a screen. I prefer to write on the computer, but when I need to read, I prefer to print the article and read a hard copy. But, like I said, I'm going to try embracing digital media, at step at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Great work! I have some of the same challenges that you have with digital reading, so I am going to work this semester to improve my skills, too. I doubt anything will ever feel as natural and right to me as a book does, but I do find that much of my work involves the digital world, and that the research areas I am most interested in now are emerging in digital formats. I want to learn not just to tolerate digital texts, but to be able to work with them in a full and fulfilling way. We'll see how it goes!