All that glitters is not gold: Why books are better than screens in the classroom

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  • Kellie Wood Orem, UT
    June 1, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    I recently graduated from an online university, Western Governors in SLC. They have this computer-based learning down to a science. We learned that our textbooks and calendars (Planners) work best on paper. The exams and recorded or live teacher lectures work best online. We would print out our digital textbooks and rubrics for each assignment because we can see the whole book and assignment at once which promotes retention and critical thinking by 90%.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    May 28, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Balance is the answer. Having too much technology causes an imbalance in one's life. To choose that is one thing. To thrust it onto our kids is another. Know and learn how to use technology. Know more importantly, how technology works. This can be accomplished without being glued to the digital world.
    We are the generation(s) that will show all the good and bad this new technology can do. Hopefully subsequent generations can learn from us.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    May 28, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    @The Wraith
    That was what I was thinking, I know I had a history book in school with a chapter titled "Vietnam, The New War" and I graduated from high school in 2005....

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 27, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    Technology is a tool. It can be used effectively to educate or hinder. Also, I could care less about test scores improving or not improving. Our students need to be taught to think critically and act creatively. Technology is the medium for the latter most certainly. However, I also agree that monies spent on technology over humans is problematic. The human (teacher) in the classroom is the most important element in student learning, that of course and the parent. Throwing i-pads at our students won't solve the problems facing our schools but more teachers to reduce class sizes and more aides and tutors will help immensely. We also must invest in technology as well, both in the gadgets but also the training. Overall, we need to invest a heckuva lot more in education period. Our children deserve nothing but the best.

  • Grandma Char Kaysville, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    I am a 60 year old grandmother who loves technology as much as those in the younger generation. I love reading books on my ipod touch and using my computer, e-mail, facebook, twitter every day. But, it has been shown that kids do not comprehend as much when reading on a tablet, computer, or other digital device. Also, when all books for our students are online and on devices, it makes it much more difficult for parents to know what is being taught to our children. What is inevitable is what we accept. Will we accept the use of digital devices in our classrooms as the norm instead of paper books or will we look at whether it truly benefits our kids to excel and make the choice that does?

    If we do decide to use technology for all of this, which is something I would strongly suggest against, it is being done poorly right now. Kids actually see ads when online at school. I am very much offended that the district would allow anyone to advertise to my grandchild when his/her attention should be on the subject at hand.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    There is a place in the classroom for books of course but technology can make books better as well. Especially textbooks. With the cost of textbooks so high it's very difficult for districts (especially poorer ones) to keep up to date on these books. The textbooks in my classroom are 15 years old which means they have been in use longer than my students have been alive. The district is not looking to update them anytime soon. With technology these books could theoretically be updated at anytime. They also have links embedded in the books that take students to specific sites where they can learn more about the topic - which also gives teachers a level of control over what students look up. I would gladly replace every book in my room for a digital copy that could stay up to date and be used as a launching pad for more in depth learning. Yes books have a place in the classroom but the days of a paper book should be over as soon as possible.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 27, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    This is an interesting issue. I would expect traditionalists to oppose changes in the classroom, but their perspective seems to be on the wane. I don't know what the answer is, but some argue that the way we learn is changing in this new world. Frankly, I am amazed when I see toddlers using technology - how do they know how to do that? While I love books and was trained in a more traditional way, the explosion of information is astounding, and I've seen its effects on me and my use of older technologies. Change is coming and will overwhelm the traditional approach, whether we like it or not.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    May 27, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    I don't mean to down on technology-I like technology-but it really doesn't improve learning. Online courses, for instance, offer an opportunity for a degree with great convenience, but it doesn't improve my ability to learn the material-I'd do better in an actual classroom, with time dedicated regularly to converse with an instructor.

    Digital devices don't help children learn more things or more quickly; we need fewer distractions, and more faculty-faculty that can't sit back and not care because of some union contract or whatever else, people who are engaged with the children.

    Besides, reading a book doesn't even use electricity. History, mathematics, literature, and pre-adult scientific understanding aren't progressing so rapidly that we need the continuous updates a tablet offers; books suffice.