Sunday, June 16, 2019

How Important is Print in 21st Century Education?

How Important is Print in 21st Century Education?


New technologies are being utilised in classrooms worldwide; leading to the next evolutionary phase in the learning experience. It is not uncommon now to hear of whole classes being given iPads to use as an interactive learning tool instead of a textbook – or even using eBooks to download English literature reading for class etc. However, what does this mean for print in the classroom? It is becoming extinct, seen as a waste of trees? This article investigates how important print is in the 21st century classroom.

Tablets versus Textbooks

The American government, publishers and heads of the technology industry are all currently trying to make public schools invest in tablets on a massive-scale. However, is this just a sales move; or could it do a wealth of good?

The FCC states that every year about seven billion dollars are spent on providing school children with textbooks in America. The truth of it is even though such an expense goes on these textbooks; on average they are seven to ten years out of date. Experts say that not only will tablets save money in the long run, but will improve the education experience. Experts state that three billion can be cut by investing in Tablets, and will only get cheaper as technology progresses.


So how much more effective is a digital experience on a tablet, than a physical one from a textbook. A test was conducted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in a high school in California where students were either given a digital version of an algebra text book or a print one. The study revealed that the students which used the digital version of the text book scored on average twenty percent higher than the ones using the physical text book. The success of the digital learning experience can be put down to interactivity. The digital version of the textbook contained different mediums of media, audio, video, graphics and built in tests. Students found it more motivating and engaging than staring down a physical textbook for information (something we can all relate to).


In 2012 a study was conducted using three to six year old children, examining the difference between eBooks and print. The study was held at NY hall of Science’s preschool. The parents of the children read the print book together, and then the eBook (half basic eBook, half advanced). The study revealed that the advanced eBooks were distracting with too much going on, ‘non content related interactions’ taking place. Also, it was revealed that both kinds of book (print and digital) supplied a good learning experience, providing more ‘engaged’ parents and children (63% of parents found both types of media helpful).

In conclusion, the future of print in education doesn’t look too promising; especially when the alternatives are proving to be educationally beneficial. However, perhaps it is a little too soon to make a drastic change to classrooms; there is still a lot to be learned about how we can adapt new technology to make the most of it.

This report was carried out by PrinterInks ink cartridges; the online store for cartidges from leadings brands, such as Dell, Samsung, Xerox, Brother and Epson.

education How Important is Print in 21st Century Education?

Photo License: Creative Commons image source

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