Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paper is more powerful for education than digital?

Nowadays, digital devices are becoming common in the field of education. Most developed countries have adopted some classes of IT skills in compulsory education. Students are given an iPad in some schools. It is no doubt that utilizing digital devices is essential to survive the modern age.

However, some educators who are relatively conservative think that learning with such electronic devices is less beneficial for children. They insist the traditional work with paper and pencil is important to acquire new knowledge.

I believe that their opinion is pointless. However, there is an evidence suggesting that paper books are somehow advantageous in education than digital monitors.

The Guardian: Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds

In this study, subjects were requested to recall the story they had read on either paperback or Kindle. The result was that the group using paperback achieved a better score at memorizing the story than the Kindle group. This result suggests you can be a better learner with a paper book than an electronic device, though the reason uncleared.

Researchers hypothesized that finger movement for turning over the pages has some roles upon brain activity. Despite it is uncertain in scientific debates, many people believe that you have to move your hands for better learning.

I love Kindle and other digital devices, but it is hard for me to ignore the result of this study. Actually, when I have to look through and memorize the content of an article, I dare to print it out to read it in detail. I am not sure how is the difference between analog and digital materials in learning. Maybe it is simply an issue of practice. If so, children in the future will be more likely to learn well with digital devices. Interesting matter.

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