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Why Print and Paper are Still Important in Digital Classrooms

For some of us, witnessing our children bringing smartphones, tablets, or laptops to their class might be a novel experience. But as digital technology continues to become more embedded in our lives, we simply have to accept this new reality, whether we like it or not. And as online learning takes center stage during the pandemic, we might as well embrace this new face of education as part of our new normal. 

Back in the days, we used to bring a heavy backpack full of books and stationery every day. We wrote everything down, did our assignments on our notebooks, and maybe learned how to operate a computer only every once in a while. But for our children today, technology has lifted some of that weight we used to carry to schools.

Now they can access practically unlimited amounts of books, audio, images, and videos to help their learning from their fingertips. Let them go to school with only a tiny teeny tablet, and they can have an encyclopedia-worth of information regarding an extremely remote part of the world, such as the Arctic, for example. What’s more, they can even probably shoot a couple of questions directly to scientists out there as the internet connection now reaches up north.

So what will happen now with the bulky physical textbooks, print materials, and the joy of jolting pen on paper? Are they still going to be relevant for the future? 

Well, the answer is definitely yes. And here’s why:

Have you ever created something that you’re proud of and can’t help to stare at it all day? Crafts? Anything? Seeing the physical form of our hard work can give us an extra motivation boost to achieve more, right? Yes, the same goes for our children after spending hours or even days working on a school project. Seeing that piece of paper with an A+ on it will motivate them to achieve another milestone. 

As quoted by The National Academy Press, according to the self-efficacy theory, learning develops from multiple sources, including perceptions of past performance. So yes, hang those A+’s on your wall or fridge at home and let them become constant reminders of your children’s achievements. And as a bonus, you will also share a sense of pride with your kid when you do!

Besides, with our current rate of technological advancement, a full-blown digital education system is still a challenging concept. Devices are still vulnerable to malfunctioning and limited by the amount of power contained by their batteries. Internet connectivity, especially in public, are sometimes just utterly unreliable. And some of us just can’t escape the need for printing and the joy of reading physical books even today, right? 

At the same time, not every school provides tablets, laptops, or even printers. It is especially true in developing countries where going full digital is still considered expensive. Also, not all teachers are tech-savvy, so, yes, we can probably safely say that we’re still going to need paper, and it will remain relevant until the unforeseeable future. 

For the most part, technological development is only a medium that can make it easier for your children to learn and dig out more information. But the way you educate them, how they learn, and social circumstances remains a crucial role in their future success. After all, no matter how technologies have improved, paper still holds an important role and will forever be needed in our daily lives and educational purposes, even in this digital era!

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