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Would Retiring Printed Textbooks Be Harmful to Students Education?

Are textbooks becoming a thing of the past? In a time of increasing technology, many schools have started to turn away from traditional textbooks. There are more professors encouraging students to access the texts via laptops or digital reading devices. But some experts agree educators should not move so fast to embrace an all-digital classroom;

Would Retiring Printed Textbooks Be Harmful to Students Education?

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Are textbooks becoming a thing of the past? In a time of increasing technology, many schools have started to turn away from traditional textbooks. There are more professors encouraging students to access the texts via laptops or digital reading devices. But some experts agree educators should not move so fast to embrace an all-digital classroom; that the traditional printed version of the textbook is still necessary for proper student learning.

Former university professor D. Chen recently wrote that there is a need for technology in the modern classroom. He pointed out that today’s generation of college students are accustomed to using technology to find information and agreed that younger people may be able to better learn in an electronic interactive format.

But the former professor also pointed out that traditional college textbooks are still necessary. Other professors agreed the actual reading from a textbook not only provided the student information, but also provides a student better discipline. There’s a fear that losing the reading discipline will have bad effects on developing students’ writing skills.

Reading from traditional print textbooks also helps students learn better patience. Modern technology allows students to get information quickly and with little effort. By not taking the time to search through a textbook, experts believe students won’t develop proper problem-solving and research skills. Professors and work counselors also fear students will be unable to independently use printed materials in the work world if there is not continued exposure to printed materials while they are in educational institutions.

Many professors agree multiple modes of technology can be used in the classroom. Information can still be transmitted digitally to students, but some university officials are reluctant to abandon the traditional textbook altogether. These professors and administrators agree the days of using printed textbooks exclusively are waning. But retiring printed textbooks in favor of electronic-only modes may prove more harmful.

College students are also joining the debate. Many say they prefer printed textbooks over electronic forms of information. Students say traditional textbooks allow them to write in the margins and use highlighters for important passages. That makes the books important study aids. Some of these same students say their grades are better in courses where they use a traditional textbook when compared to courses that use only electronic methods. They also add that a textbook does not require batteries or electricity.

Education has evolved with loads of new technology. But just like things in the real world, sometimes the move to replace what was old-school with the latest new-school technology is not necessarily the best move for the future.

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