Digital Revolution?

Are we really in a digital revolution?  Everything is online and students are always buried in various screens, often more than one screen at a time.  In the school setting, professors are becoming more comfortable with the use of technology in the classroom.  We read articles and watch scholarly videos online, access textbooks online, research on computers as opposed to encyclopedias, type notes online, an even take exams on computers.  Several schools distribute computers to their students (including the high school I attended).  Is this necessarily an issue?  One of the largest problems pertains to productivity.  In the article “Learning In The Age Of Digital Distraction”, the writer argues that we are prone to clicking on other tabs when doing digital work.  “A textbook dilemma: Digital or paper?”, a separate article, also mentions this issue.  Doing assignments online opens up the possibilities of doing anything other than your work.  When I see a notification on my phone, I like to click on it right away.  Sometimes when I’m supposed to be doing homework, I click out and read sports articles and shop and then all of a sudden, one minute turns into ten and then I forget what assignment I was working on.  Studies have shown that completing textbook readings using a hard copy allows students to absorb more of the information and retain it better.  This is a common theme; in the article “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away”, the writer discusses the various advantages and disadvantages of note-taking on hard copy vs on computer.  While students may be able type faster, they retain less information when using a computer.  That being said, students who used hand-written notes understood the information on a deeper level despite writing fewer words.  In the fourth and final resource, a series of surveys and data show that most people prefer reading paper books as opposed to online books.  65% of Americans read a paper book in the past twelve months and 28% have read an e-book.  All of the articles are repeating the same results.  What does this mean?  It has become apparent that students take in information more effectively when using print media.  What does digital media need to change in order to become more effective?

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