The Benefits of Paper vs. Digital Learning
As we head into the Fall season and more importantly Back to School, there has been more and more discussion around how education methods are changing, particularly how it relates to the use of textbooks vs technology. As our lives become more intertwined with the digital world, so does education with less textbooks being printed and more resources becoming available exclusively online…but is it really for the better?
Many studies have shown this move towards a digital education may actually be hindering our students by not providing them the full benefits of learning on paper. Unfortunately, this shift is happening to our students against their preferences. Studies and polls have found that two thirds of students prefer reading on paper over digital devices. This is because the sensory contact and engagement with the paper has been proven to help them progress at their own pace, free of distractions, ultimately improving their understanding of a subject, factual retention and recall, as well as an improved reading comprehension.
Not only has reading on paper been found to be more beneficial for students, but so is writing by hand. It has been shown that writing by hand on a piece of paper is better for learning by being one of the most effective ways to study and retain information. Along with reading on paper, it also prevents students from being distracted and keeps them focused on the task at hand.
The productivity habits that help students throughout their education will also be helpful when moving into the workforce, where 64% of employees still prefer to use printed agendas and documents at the workplace, stating that paper is better for taking notes to be studied and referenced later. In the end, between writing and reading on paper, print and paper deliver proven benefits and continue to play an essential role in education and development.
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