A new study demonstrates that students learn way more effectively from textbooks than screens – “While new forms of classroom technology like digital textbooks are more accessible and portable, it would be wrong to assume that students will automatically be better served by digital reading.”
While educators, teachers and policy makers focused more on technology for studies and education, a recent study has revealed a significant discrepancy. Students said they favored and performed better when using screens. But their actual output was seen to suffer.
Across the studies, the length of written material varied and researchers gathered different information from people. With this data, some new results have surfaced that tell us about the differences between reading printed and digital content:
- Students overwhelmingly preferred to read digitally.
- Reading was significantly faster online than in print.
- Students judged their comprehension was better online than in print. However overall comprehension was better for print versus digital reading.
- The medium didn’t matter for general questions (like understanding the main idea of the text). But when it came to specific questions, comprehension was significantly better when participants read printed texts.
From these discoveries, there are a few lessons that can be passed on to policymakers, educators, guardians and understudies about printed books’ position in an increasingly digital world.
Consider the Reason
Some of the time we’re searching for a response to a particular inquiry. Sometimes we’re looking for an answer to a very specific question. Other times, we want to browse a newspaper for today’s headlines. At the end of the day, there’s no “one medium fits all” approach.
So it’s important to consider the reason and the purpose behind studying. One thing we know is that we can find the percentage of people who prefer printed or online media and apply using that specific information.
Analyze the Task
The study shows that there are some tasks for which a medium doesn’t seem to matter. However, when the reading assignment might require more attention it must be kept in mind that it is better understood on a printed book.
It is important that teachers make the students aware that their ability to comprehend the assignment may be influenced by the medium they choose.
Therefore, while we all focus on living a more digital life, it is a fact that paper study will remain an efficient medium for most of us.