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Problem with learning online vs reading books

  1. Jun 1, 2015 #1
    Hi, Do any of you ever experience this:

    You are trying to learn somhing in a book (physics, math, chemistry) and the book does not explain it sufficiently. You then go to google and start searching for a better explanation. After searching for 5 minutes you finally find a okay explanation, but your reading speed is slower on the computer and it feels as if you forgot some of the things you werer erading because your mind had to deal with all the pup-ups, browsers and stuff on the screen?
    In general i experience reading on the screen as much more fatigeing than on in a book and often just need to look away so my eyes don't dry out.

    Just trying to figure out if I'm the only one with this problem or other peopel experience it too?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2015 #2
    Same thing happens to me.I cant read something on computer and its a really big problem.I cant take notes on computer screen.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2015 #3

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    If you are easily distracted by ads, and you are getting "pop-ups", you should try an ad blocker, and also make sure your computer isn't infected. I have no idea what you mean by "browser" as your browser is the service that allows you to view webpages (chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer), it's not something on the page that would distract you. It sounds like you are a candidate for a trip to your local library for help.
     
  5. Jun 3, 2015 #4
    Agreed. I am having a much easier time with reading a physical book that I can hold in my hands than reading a e-book on any electronic device, be it a computer, a phone or anything.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2015 #5

    Evo

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    I also prefer holding and reading a book. I bought a Kindle Fire HD a year and a half ago and have used it maybe a total of 5 times, and not at all this year. It's heavy, awkward, and I just really hate it.
     
  7. Jun 3, 2015 #6
    I think I read faster on screen. From sometime now I use eye drops for moisturizing my eyes (prescribed by eye doctor). But I think I understand much better while reading book because of maybe slow speed while reading from real book.
     
  8. Jun 4, 2015 #7
    It's not unusual. It's very difficult to get immersed in what you're reading when you don't have the haptic feedback of a book, when every new piece of content takes time to load (breaking up the flow of thought), and when you're given so much information at once. There is also some cognitive/learning theory stuff, what with the fact that most of us don't associate browsing the internet with studying, so it becomes harder to get into a productive studying mood.

    When I'm trying to read a paper online, what helps me is to print it out so I can read it like a book.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2015 #8
    From what I understand, reading a screen fatigues our eyes faster than reading a book because of the screen glare. Some programs are designed to reduce screen glare, and there are some devices that advertise the lack of screen glare (like certain Kindles), but there is always an element of glare to contend with. Paper isn't a reflective surface the way screens are, so it's not as fatiguing.
     
  10. Jun 12, 2015 #9
    Another big problem are the numerous distractions.
    I spend quite a bit of time gathering all my resources and extra info during me first pass-through of the text.
    Next I print the parts I need and go somewhere without my laptop. For example to the park when its nice outside.

    With the eye fatigue thing. Another issue is that I tend to scan texts when looking at a screen.
    I might end up reading 1 in 3 sentences, possibly missing important information.
    This can lead to a loss of time, for example an old thesis I was reading mentioned in the beginning of a section that the compactification would use a 4D space so going from 10D -> 6D. While I was checking the calculations nothing seemed right, until I read that specific line. It took me over an hour to realise what was going on.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2015 #10
    I think It is difficult to read online, because you soon feel tired. I prefer paper book, it is very useful and beneficial!
     
  12. Jun 29, 2015 #11

    SMPS-PHYSICS

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    Gold Member

    Just read the book by Kevin Paul, Study Smarter, Not Harder from JAICO/Self-Counsel business series book.
    If you are already an expert of a subject then I prefer to read soft copy of books. This way you get the realization that those books are available whenever you want for references in soft copy form.
    I'm expert in power electronics, however as I'm shifting load to physics now I prefer to find some job in physics first so that I get the real pressure and sense of accomplishments while reading and then telling students about physics topics. Again I would prefer to read soft copy and save papers by not printing the book. Printed book is only better to me if I have it's soft copy as backup.
    It does not mean that I don't print. Sometime to better understand an application note that is very important for a project I get it's print. I read that printed copy but still refer to it's soft copy when actually using it in near future. I avoid prints as much as I can.
    The important thing is only try to read stuff that can be accessed anytime in future. As an example soft copy can be accessed any time and any place if you have it's backup.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2015 #12

    SMPS-PHYSICS

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    Yes that is a good idea to consult doctor to keep eyes healthy
     
  14. Jul 14, 2015 #13

    Dembadon

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    Something I haven't seen mentioned yet:

    If you're having trouble understanding something and then head to the Internet for alternative explanations, you really need to be careful what resources you use. It's difficult to ascertain the credibility of an explanation when you're inexperienced in the subject.

    Certain resources might be a quicker read than a textbook, but if you're given a poor (worst case: completely incorrect) explanation, then you've not only wasted time, but also might've picked up an understanding of the concept that will be difficult to unlearn in the future.

    The benefit of math/science textbooks is that they've been reviewed and edited by people who know what they're talking about, rather than "Hotguy123" from Yahoo Answers.
     
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