By Zada Stephens
Nowadays, everyone uses some form of digital platform to read things such as news articles, comics, important documents, and books.
Digital books or ebooks, of course, are convenient because you can easily buy them online and have them right on your phone, tablet, and/or your laptop. Rather than going to a bookstore, people can be at home and read with a tap of a finger. This can be considered great news because more people have access to a lot more books that maybe their local library or local bookstore did not have.
This is great for regular people who love to read, but what about educators and students? Do they engage in ebooks the same way that they engage in physical prints?
A psychologist named Patricia Alexander researched the differences between reading physical copies of books versus ebooks and found that students were learning more when reading physical books (Hurt).
Why? Most of the things we read on our screens or text messages and social media posts from platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Reading these things is not a challenge for a brain so when we read a book on-screen, her brain thinks that it's an easy task and skims over things, not really absorbing the information (Hurt). So how can we make it easier for us to retain and absorb information from reading on screen? Well, I have a couple of ideas.
1. Write Summaries
Writing summaries of the chapters that you read can improve your ability to absorb the information because it is known that when we write things down we are more likely to remember it
2. Journal Your Thoughts
Waiting on your thoughts and feelings about the text that you just read on the screen can help you remember the details within the text because your brain has to put more effort into remembering the details.
Annotating a physical copy of a book is easier than annotating a digital copy. However, writing down notes in a notebook with the page number can help to annotate ebooks a lot easier.
I hope that these tips can help future and current students and educators when dealing with ebooks if they are having a hard time retaining the information.
Hurt, Avery E. “Will You Learn Better from Reading on Screen or on Paper?” Science News Explores, 13 Dec. 2021, https://www.snexplores.org/article/learn-comprehension-reading-digital-screen-paper#:~:text=Much%20of%20her%20research%20has,than%20when%20reading%20in%20print.