New Media literacies Reading

A Way to be a more Proficient Reader Online

I only read titles
Photo Credit: Daniel Teixeira via

Over the last several years I’m observing a change of my reading habits. I read more online than printed material. Often I’m rather clicking through a webpage than sticking to a text and read it from the beginning to the end. For professional purpose I read more nonfiction material online than ever. Sometimes I have the feeling that I read a lot but what did I get out of it? Where is the action? Do you know the feeling not to be that proficient anymore? 

The reasons are quite complex to go deeper at this point. This is an interesting article about the phenomenon:

Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

But one think is for sure: Our reading habits are changing and we are facing new challenges – as a reader, a teacher, and a student. Maybe also our brain changes and adapts. I would like to do some research about it. Later. Because I want to stick to this blog post now. Another challenge. 

The following article which is worth reading Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading? in the New York Times describes the differences like this:

Clearly, reading in print and on the Internet are different. On paper, text has a predetermined beginning, middle and end, where readers focus for a sustained period on one author’s vision. On the Internet, readers skate through cyberspace at will and, in effect, compose their own beginnings, middles and ends.

My question as a teacher is:

How can we be a proficient reader online?

How can I develop more proficient reader
in the digital world?

There are many tools and ways to be more proficient while reading / researching online. In order to get the main idea of a text or video, for me efficient note taking possibilities are very important. It’s a way for me to get deeper into the content, to process it, and to let it settle in my mind. At this point I would like to write about my experiences with an Chrome extension called Split Screen. I’m mainly using it when I’m watching a video, e.g. a Google Hangout about a certain topic, and at the same time I want to take some notes. Of course it is as useful for reading a text online. The extension splits the browser windows in two parts. In my case I’m watching the video on the left side and on the right side usually I’m typing in a Google document. I think it is a great extension for note taking. There is no switching between the window and another tool necessary. It’s looks like the following screen shot:

Screen Split

What are you doing for being a more proficient reader / researcher online?

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