There is a special word for a student in these modern days, “digital natives”
These are the students that are growing up surrounded by technology and screen everywhere like tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.
There is no denying that technology is taking over everything, and it does have its own sweet effects.
Even the teachers, parents and policymakers are acknowledging the influence of technology on the latest generations.
Students certainly responded way better to technology than they ever did to books, and that’s why we see more and more investments in classroom technology.
Students are taught to work on the school-issued iPads and have access to the electronic textbooks.
In fact, in California, a law was passed that required all college textbooks to be available in electronic forms by 2020. A similar law was passed in Florida in 2011 to convert all public school textbooks to be converted into e-books.
All this venture in the technology surely creates an illusion that better technology is directly related to better learning.
As much as everyone wants this to be true, it isn’t.
Accessibility, Ease and Speed – But At What Cost?
Young ones these days love technology, they breathe through it.
So they obviously prefer screens over dull textbooks and believed that they help them perform better.
But in reality, their performance becomes poor.
A study was conducted where a group was asked to read from print and the other from screens, and these were the major findings:
- More students preferred reading from a screen than from the print.
- They read faster digitally than they did in print.
- Students believed that their comprehension was better digitally than in print. While real results showed that comprehension was much better in print than digital.
- As far as general understanding is concerned, both of the media were the same. It was on the specific details that students performed better who had read in print.
So to conclude, the teachers, parents and the policymakers should not ignore the significance of the print media considering the significant impact.
So what can be done?
In this tech-savvy age, you can’t stop the spread of technology however bad impacts it has. It always wins with the benefit of ease. But we can do the following:
Let the Purpose Decide the Media
There are a lot of reasons to read.
Sometimes we are looking for a precise answer, other times we are browsing mindlessly.
Now different media can be used for these specific tasks, it should be decided carefully.
Study the Effect of Media on the Task
As already mentioned, some of the tasks are unaffected by the choice of media, for example, a general idea of the passage, as it was found in the above-mentioned study.
But for other tasks like looking for specifics, where media can affect the overall comprehension, it is important to choose wisely.
Take it Slow
It is understandable that technology is the need of today’s world, but there shouldn’t be such a rush.
The first day at school and children are taught to use the tablets when they are highly dangerous at this age.
Students respond better to print, performance wise, and that is very crucial in the developing ages.
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