While doing our reading for this week, I could overhear my husband and four-year-old daughter doing reading lessons. They have been doing these almost every day for the past months, and it seems like a tedious and frustrating activity for both of them, especially when repetition is involved.
Since he was on call while doing this, the phone started ringing quite often, which delayed the lesson a lot more. Noticing my husband was busy, my ten year-old niece offered to do the reading lesson with her. Instead of using the book, she said she wanted to use a website that was very helpful to her when she was learning how to read.
The website had different lessons according to the level of reading, and it would pronounce words on demand. She had no problem doing these reading lessons, and spent over half an hour doing a variety of them.
Our book points out that reading something online versus reading it on paper is more tiring, and our understanding of the subject is diminished. One of the studies he presents concludes that multimedia technologies “would seem to limit, rather than enhance, information acquisition”.
But how does that apply to what I just witnessed? Was she more interested in doing her reading lesson because it was something new and different? Or did the technology provide her with a learning tool that even a well-crafted lesson book couldn’t? Will these studies have the same results when those born under the Web 2.0 become adults?