Small Differences Matter: The DNA of Online Reading Comprehension

This Module’s reading has honestly opened my eyes to the value and importance of the 2% difference between us and a chimpanzee, making us the intelligent, comprehensive human race we are today. The reading has taught me that much like our genetic code, online reading and traditional reading share such similar characteristics, but their differences create a layer of such complexity that mirror the same cognitive abilities between chimpanzees and human beings. However, measuring online reading comprehension is quite different than those of traditional reading, and must be scaled and skilled differently, creating an entirely new system of reading that must be taught in education systems. From learning what key words to search, to picking a reliable site to read, to analyzing and evaluating the credibility of a site, online reading comprehension has become so complex that the traditional skills of reading comprehension are just one level of analysis in the new technological world we live in. New and more complex skills and practices are required to read in online environments. This 2% (an analogy not actual data) represents the set of skills and practice that allow some learners to take online texts and reshape the meaning for future learning. The reading states, “I see many parallels with definitions of online reading comprehension. When reading online more successful students do not simply assimilate information as traditional definitions comprehension would have us believe. Skilled online readers “manipulate and mold information to achieve a higher goal” (Kaku, 2014, chapter 7, 24:26). Based on my dissertation research and classroom observations I see three critical shifts: strategic text assembly, socially complex texts, and multimodal design.” This shows the complexity to online reading and has truly opened my eyes as a future educator to the necessity in teaching how to properly read online sources and comprehend it. 



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