I don’t own an e-reader or a tablet. Nonetheless, this is not news to me:
People who read e-books on tablets like the iPad are realizing that while a book in print or on a black-and-white Kindle is straightforward and immersive, a tablet offers a menu of distractions that can fragment the reading experience, or stop it in its tracks.
E-mail lurks tantalizingly within reach. Looking up a tricky word or unknown fact in the book is easily accomplished through a quick Google search. And if a book starts to drag, giving up on it to stream a movie over Netflix or scroll through your Twitter feed is only a few taps away.
Why isn’t this news to me? Because every computer user in America (including me) has to fight the urge to open a new tab and read something more fun than what they’re currently looking at every time they read or watch anything online.
Now imagine that you’re a college student taking an online course that you don’t want to be taking. Wouldn’t you have that same feeling nearly all the time? How often do you think you’d give in temptation and check Facebook or Twitter (particularly since nobody is watching you watch your course materials)?
By the way, the people interviewed in that story are experienced readers who, presumably, want to read the e-books they bought and downloaded onto their Kindle Fires and iPads. How do you think the students in your class who don’t want to read what what you’re assigning are going to respond under the same circumstances?