This morning I found some recent research that describes my biggest struggle with using online texts. As someone who has always studied books, I find it difficult to find my place in online texts. Maybe I need to use resources like Diigo and its annotation feature more often. I have also thought that this is because I am a strongly visual learner and "see" where on the page I am looking for in order to locate a relevant quote or section when analyzing a text. But this research suggests that another factor is memory processing.
So my questions are:
- Do students of this new generation have different memory functioning than I do? Am I just getting old and losing it!
- Is the digital world that they are growing up in changing how their brains develop (I know that there is research on this out there)?
- Should I use online texts in order to facilitate this development, continue using a combination of print and online sources, or go back to the "good old days" of tattered, well read paperbacks?
One more thought, more than anything I have found that variety is not only the spice of life but also the best way to teach. Whether for "keeping it fresh" and interesting or to reach students with multiple learning styles in the same 45 minutes. So I guess I'm leaning toward sticking to the combination (I have turned in my book list for next year), but what about the year after that (do teachers plan two years in advance?!) I'm also always open to change, which helps adapting to this whole new world of teaching a bit easier.