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Carrigan Fry

Professor Myers

English Composition 1201

22 March 2019

Back to the Basics

Remember those days when you would sit at a desk with a fat number two pencil

waiting to be passed your quiz by that weeks selected helpers? Or do you remember

logging onto a website and clicking some buttons for a grade? The ways and

techniques that we use to learn are so different and there is a wide variety. For some

just listening to someone tell them information is enough for others, you may need to sit

them down and draw out a picture. These different learners still need to be considered

as we move into the digital age. We have to still use these techniques but instead on a

computer where things aren’t as personal. Instead of writing out words on paper you are

typing them on a screen way faster than your brain may need to process. Is technology

moving to fast for us, or are we moving too slow for technology? The real answer is that

no matter what technology brings us we always need to find the right learning style for

ourselves. Online education may be an easier way of life but it may also not be efficient

as physical resources, understandable, or drawing your attention enough.

I was raised in a brick and mortar school my whole life until high school, this year

for me. I got good grades, was a good kid all the basics. Then in middle school as I

started dancing more my grades started slipping. As my schedule got busier my grades

got lower. I worked hard and went in for extra hours in classes to improve my grade.

Then I had made high honor roll and was placed in to honors classes for the first time.
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This was also when I was getting old enough to start helping and being at my dance

studio 24/7. As these two world collided I found myself struggling to keep up and

maintain friends and find happiness at school. This year I started online school and I will

say I have much more time and I am no where near as stressed or behind. Yes, I did

have to give up some of my school friends , the ones I’ve known my whole life but I

knew this was the right decision. So far it is seeming out to be. But I have recently

notice my work ethic decrease. I use to strive for perfection and now I’m ok with

anything which might also be my age and that it’s my first year of high school. Then I

furthered my knowledge and realized that maybe the way my studies have changed

have impacted my grades and possibly my work ethic.

As I read into some articles I found one that stood out to me by The Los Angeles

Times called “Degrees in the Digital Age”. This article frequently mentions how popular

online studies are becoming due to the accessibility. The article claims that resources

are free and easier to locate as shown by this quote,“digital books and instructional

materials will be provided at no cost to all online students enrolled in undergraduate

programs starting Fall 2018.” The online materials will also come in handy if your

someone who loses your books frequently. Although this may pose an issue, reading

your information online versus off of a physical book that you can touch. If the text is

extensive the words may all jumble together and hurt the students eyes causing

exhaustion from reading too long. While when holding a book you can save your spot,

move locations, or sit comfortably. This article interviews Liberty college to find out what

they are doing for their online program and Dr. Scott Hicks, the vice provost for

graduate education says,”The goal is to be able to meet a student anywhere in the

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world, on any device, at any time, teaching them in just the way they need it.” This

shows that the creators or educators of the online world want you to get the correct

learning for you but it might just not be available online.

The last paragraph in this article pulled it all together for me. “ ‘No matter what

your industry is, it doesn't make sense to keep doing something because it is what you

did 15 years ago,’ Allison said. ‘You look at what the new tools are and ask, 'How can

we achieve our goals better?' That is what this is about.’”

Summing that up she basically means we need to experiment new things and go for

them. When things aren’t working for some peoples way of learning you should come

up with a new online way that might be closer to reaching that persons mind. Although

they are trying to advance our generation we also need to make sure we are still doing

as well as previous ones in the education department. If we want to advance we have to

do it in the right and most suitable way. It’s not fair for people who can’t learn in their

best interest online to be graded and have those grades determine their future. Some

people excel at online rather than brick and mortar and the other way as well.

Let’s look at the positive of an online atmosphere. In an article from Brandman

University it states how the online world is full of things that wouldn’t be able to reach

you through an old fashion class room. “ Education in the virtual world allows students

to access information from anywhere in the world, which is a huge advantage when

integrating different perspectives into courses.” This statement shows how excited and

positive colleges are looking forward to offering online courses. This offering may also

be beneficial to the college’s budget, if the college just buys one class of material it can

be reused through technology. This not only saves them money but saves the teacher
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time and effort, there would be a need for only one professor in some cases. The online

world could possibly also lead you to taking different classes from around the world

whilst staying in your dorm room.

In “An Expert Interview About Online Learning” more emphasis is made on the

point that online education is cheap and could possibly be free. As said in this

statement,”to promote free online learning in partnership with Khan’s very own academy

and Coursera.” These being a few online programs that help with learning online. For

most, free education sounds lovely, but choosing online just for this reason is not the

correct move. If your student is one who needs a teacher on site to talk to I recommend

you stay in a brick and mortar environment, even if it is more pricy, it is the correct

education you need to give your student. Your student should feel that they are

comfortable and getting the right education for themselves. They should be graded on

something they feel confident in. In the article from “Phys Org” they claim how they

talked to a researcher on how reading on screens can effect us. She continued to

say,”we can say that we are reading as never before and that the Internet has brought

about an explosion of reading.” Which is a shocking statement but from this we cannot

exactly tell if this is a positive or negative thing so we continued to read to find out that it

is disliked to read a book on a kindle or some form of screen. Most people believe that it

is more inspiring when you have the actual book according to’s article.

I discovered a more specific article about online reading compared to reading

print. This article stood out because it wasn’t a typical reading. The author of this article

did a test to see which technique was more beneficial,”print was aesthetically more

enjoyable,” one of the participants said. With reading a real book on your lap or in front
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of you, you can enjoy it more and when you enjoy it you remember it. Also my previous

statement about hurting your eyes is proven true as found in this result students had

complained that their eyes hurt or “burned”. Others did enjoy the fact that with online

you could read in the dark, they weren’t hurting the environment, and information was

accessible. The question still is were they interpreting the correct information? Results

have shown pretty even according to this article. But, print still has beaten screen

several times in comprehension and order of the plot quizzes. Most students preferred

print over screen and thought it was easier to focus on the print. I think we tie online

education to social media. When you are on your laptop you have the same access to

Instagram as you do an article for your essay.

This article from the New Republic summed up all my thoughts, ran a test, and

supported my claims. I found this interesting because I would assume most people

would think that print is most peoples choice because we are comfortable but, they still

continue to make the switch over to online. As the previous article said we have to start

change at some point. For the current kindergarteners and first graders they won’t ever

experience school completely on paper. They will use their schools computers to print

pictures or create a poem for Mom. They are the era of change. Not the ones who were
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taught how to use a pencil and paper, instead of a keyboard and microsoft word. This

article also showed me that I am not the only one who was concerned about this topic.

Students agree with me as well so that was also reassuring.

Some still will believe that online is what we all need to use instead of the “old-

fashioned” way. They will tell you it is easier and yes, it is. But is it more effective and

efficient. People need to listen to the students instead of pressuring them into a new

way of education that they have not been trained to do. Online learning does work for

those who can keep up and handle it. But some cannot manage that so they need the

support of educators they can communicate with or material that they can pick up

better. I still believe online learning is right for me. My situation is not typical but I work

very hard to stay on top of things while still remembering to chill and not freak out with a

tremendous amount of stress. Purdue University has flexible options with online

schooling similar to Sinclair, on their website they mention how it can be useful and

provide examples such as,”I have a family, so I need to take classes when my house is

quiet. Online education may be better for you.”

In conclusion online and physical studies both have their ups and downs as any

pair would. But it all comes down to your preference and situation, I've learned. Most

people find physical resources more comfortable and normal while others find online

sources easier to use and much more accessible. You could say that it all depends on

yourself which may scare you but when you know you know whats right for you. When

you know you will know that you feel comfortable with your learning abilities The first

thing that Brandman University said was, “Online education was once a both
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revolutionary and scary thought, but today it is a strong trusted source for quality

training and learning.” We have to work through these challenges and solve what needs

to be resolved. We will make progress but time and studies will have to be done to

completely go virtual.

Works Cited

Ally, Mohamed, et al. The Theory and Practice of Online Learning. AU Press, 2008.

“An Expert Interview About Online Learning.”, Brandman University,

Baron, Naomi. “Why Digital Reading Is No Substitute for Print.” The New Republic, 20 July


“Degrees in the Digital Age.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2018,

“Do We Read Differently on Paper than on a Screen?” - News and Articles on Science
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and Technology,,

Goralski, Margaret A., and Louis K. Falk. “Online vs. Brick and Mortar Learning: Competition or

Complementary.” Competition Forum , Vol. 15, no. Issue 2, 2017.

Hurlbut, Amanda R. “Online vs. Traditional Learning in Teacher Education: a Comparison of

Student Progress.” American Journal of Distance Education, Vol. 32, no. Issue 4, Oct.

2018, pp. p248–p266.

Myrberg, Caroline, and Ninna Wiberg. “Screen vs. Paper: What Is the Difference for Reading

and Learning?” Insights the UKSG Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, 2015, pp. 49–54., doi:10.1629/


Myrberg, Caroline, and Ninna Wiberg. “Screen vs. Paper: What Is the Difference for Reading

and Learning?” Insights the UKSG Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, 2015, pp. 49–54.,


Purdue University Global. “Classroom vs. Online Education.” Purdue Global, Purdue University

Global, 8 Jan. 2019,

“The Era of Online Learning | Niema Moshiri | TEDxUCSD.” YouTube, YouTube, 14 June 2017,