While the advancement of digital media has brought significant improvement to educational systems in terms of cost reduction, recent studies have discovered that students tend to absorb more information when they are reading printed texts.
According to a faculty member at the University of North Dakota, students’ understanding and memorization of printed texts are higher than the rates reported when students are interacting with digital publications.
Unfortunately, this research is in contradiction with a lot of government plans all over the world. Not only that, but major publishing houses like Pearson have decided to turn their focus to online publications.
Students’ learning process versus cost reduction
While studies show that printed textbooks boost students’ learning process, many publishing houses and educational institutions around the world are turning to digital resources.
Does this pose the question of importance – is student success more important than the reduction of costs for education providers? There are many possible answers to this question.
Of course, the sole mission of educational institutions should be to provide quality education to pupils. However, there are other aspects to this problem as well. One of the main concerns with printed textbooks and resources is the harm paper publishing does to the environment.
According to Lauren Singer, a scholar about to defend her doctoral thesis at the University of Maryland, one possible solution to this dilemma would be to allow students to choose whether they want to use print or online materials for their classes. Ms. Singer also adds that print textbooks evoke more respect from young adults, while online publications allow them to study on the go.