In defense of traditional learning and paper books

Students already face many challenges in school, such as bullying and peer pressure. Many also experience difficult life decisions, such as choosing between various career paths at a young age. Since the start of the pandemic, students have faced an additional challenge: the new and difficult course of online school, where virtual resources like e-books are becoming dominant in the current education system.

Are ebooks better than papers? Will these virtual texts soon replace physical texts?

I don’t believe that ebooks should ever completely replace traditional books. Numerous studies have shown that non-digital books are more versatile and better resources when it comes to student development and studies. Encouraging the use of paper books in schools also reduces the risk of a “digital divide” marginalizing students with less access to technology.

Owning a physical copy of a book – whether it’s a textbook, storybook, or novel – allows students to capture more information and use it in everyone’s lives. days. Another key point to remember is that paper books allow students to write notes right on the page, which triggers and motivates the mind to do better and learn more. This creates an effective learning experience and strengthens literacy skills.

E-books are known to adversely affect overall physical and mental health by causing eye strain, migraines, and depression, resulting in poorer school performance. Researchers have found that avoiding harmful screens before bed and reading a storybook causes less irritation in melatonin levels.

Most importantly, books enable children and young people to become better readers, which leads to better academic results. A report by educational publisher Scholastic indicates that a large majority of children develop their vocabulary and language skills by reading paper books.

As society continues to develop advanced technologies alongside the rise of online schooling, the risk of a digital divide among students increases. This gap between the tech haves and haves increases the developmental differences between children from rich and poor backgrounds; the use of e-books forces students to invest in expensive devices that many Canadian families cannot afford. This concept ignores the right to education, as 17% of students cannot engage in activities like homework or virtual classes due to limitations like lack of internet access.

Many elementary and secondary schools in Ontario allow students to borrow paper textbooks free of charge throughout the school year. This helps to level the playing field for all students, while reducing the risk of this technological divide.

It seems clear that paper books still offer a lot to recommend over digital copies. Physical books promote mental health, better academics, and positive student development. They can help prevent the danger of a digital breach in our education system. Technology can present significant risks and repercussions for the education system, but parents, caregivers, teachers and society as a whole have the potential to change this.

Hannah Francois is a first year social science student at McMaster University.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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