Reading Online Articles

I am currently in an online class. In the class I have to read several different articles dealing with math. Looking over lesson plans and reading classmates responses to the reading. It’s a great way to learn even more about how to teach math. However, this post isn’t about math or the class I’m taking. I want to talk about reading online.

For instance, you’re reading this blog. It’s pretty easy to read. What makes it easy? Is it my lack of some language usage? Is it using everyday jargon? Is it how the page and text is set up? I feel that a lot of online reading becomes difficult when it fills the page like it does here. For this class, just about every educational article I read looks like this. I get frustrated in reading because I get lost, or the amount of words is scary.

Do we do this to students when we assign them reading? When you see all the words like this, it becomes intimidating and difficult to read. I copy and paste articles that look like this into a TextEdit on my computer and adjust it so that it is not as wide. Reading the article does not seem so tough to read then.

Am I the only one that feels this way? Do others see reading articles online difficult to read? Is it mainly educational sites that post information like this? What are your thoughts?

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About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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3 Responses to Reading Online Articles

  1. I have difficulty reading most text on a computer screen. My eyes don’t visually process it as well as they do paper. For whatever reason, the letters all run together and I frequently find myself rereading text. If possible, I print things out to read them, when I can focus on them better, or if all else fails, read them upside-down – a strategies which helps me focus better on what I’m reading.

  2. Pat says:

    I feel the same way whether it is a news article or if it is a blog post. I have seen this in education, ham radio, and even hiking articles. If it gets too wordy, my mind starts wondering as I am reading. I usually scan the article and read the first and last paragraph. I also like lists so if there are lists numbered or bulleted, I read those too. Then I go back and read the whole article because I feel like I have a better grasp at what I will be reading. If I just start off cold, I know I will be lost before I am finished.

  3. aquiram says:

    Reading online is not the easiest thing for me either. I had also avoided buying an e-reader for the same reason, however after purchasing one (Nook) with e-Ink technology. LOVE IT! And I think the major reason I do is because it is much like a book. There is enough white space spread out on the screen, paragraph breaks that make sense, and other text features it seems online publishers seem to forget about. I have also had issues with some online reading with too much extraneous information–too many pictures, no clear indication of where the text is going from one place to the next. I do find my students read better if it LOOKS like a page from a book. Interesting…

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