March 27 – Reflections on Readings

I’m going to be honest at the beginning; this weeks articles were difficult for me. It could be because I’m getting over a sinus infection. But, I really think its because I don’t know a lot of the vocabulary. I spent a lot of time looking up words and then looking up more words in the definition. I think now I have a handle on the Ngams.

What I have taking from these articles and sites is that searching for history is complex and there are a variety a ways to go about searching. Also, how are people making searching for history easier? How can we as a class make our sites more searchable?

Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid? (2008)

As I read Carr’s article, I found myself trying to skim it. However, I tried to force myself to read the entire article to prove a point. That my reading hasn’t changed, but it has. My friend and I joke that we don’t read too many articles anymore. Instead we just read their headlines on our tweeter feeds. I still read articles, but only the ones with the most compelling titles. I think Carr makes a good point about reading, but I think it has to be reading on the computer. For me, there is a major difference between reading a printed book and a book on the web. I don’t focus as much once with the text on the screen.

Applying Quantitative Analysis to Classic Lit,” Wired, Dec. 2009

This article was interesting to me because it makes a lot of sense for researchers. Wouldn’t it be great to pop in a search engine  7,000 books in 18th- and 19th-century England and discover a correlation between them? Research would be simpler in the fact that there would be results. However, I am concerned that the majority of the results would be insignificant to the research.

The Mining Dispatch is a really interesting site! It’s amazing how they put together the articles. You can almost compare them right away. This site works because it can work for multiple interests and research objectives.


3 Responses to “March 27 – Reflections on Readings”

  1. I agree that I definitely find it more challenging to read an article for a class online. Sometimes, to force myself to read and annotate, I print it out. That way there’s no reason to not be able to fully read it. Also, when I read things on the computer, there’s a temptation to go on other sites which are just distracting.

  2. ricard says:

    I feel like we work so hard to learn critical thinking skills in high school and yet the internet can easily provide the answers to tough questions now-a-days. Think of a literature class, how many people use online cliffnotes, enotes, etc instead of reading the book? Also how will teachers deal with this way of learning? The classic literature site could be a great research tool but it could also inhibit students from learning how to research text in books, and what happens if you get the opportunity to go to the British Library and then you can’t figure out the catalogs?

  3. Cammy Carroll says:

    I agree that text on computer screens seems to hinder focus. I wonder if anyone has done studies on the effects of computer backlighting and our ability to read for long periods of time. Surely someone has done so with the advent of eBooks. Maybe if we find a reliable source saying it damages our eyes we can convince professors not to give us so much online reading.

    It’s worth a shot.