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Why Paper Learning Is Always Going To Have A Role In Education

Student working on their classwork and homework.

We live in a world where everything is happening in the little screens in your homes. Even school nowadays is happening through your computer from the comfort of your living room. However, with all the digital tools available to us, is it more important than ever for students to print out their study materials and use a pen and paper to study them. There are a lot of benefits to paper learning alongside the provided digital learning.

Many studies have shown that this move towards digital learning is actually hurting students’ ability to process information by not providing them the full benefits of paper learning in a digital setting. About two thirds of students prefer reading on paper than on their digital devices. This is because the sensory contact and engagement with paper has been proven to help them progress through their studies at their own pace, free of distractions. Ultimately improving the way they understand a subject, factual retention, and recall, as well as an improved reading comprehension. 

Not only has reading on paper been found to be more beneficial for students, but so is writing by hand. I guess you can say reading and writing go hand-in-hand here. It has been shown that writing by hand on a piece of paper is better for learning by being one of the most effective ways to study and retain information. Along with reading on paper, it also prevents students from being distracted and keeps them focused on the task at hand.

With about 64% of employers still preferring to use printed agendas and documents in the workplace, the productivity habits that students develop while in school will also help them in the workforce. Employers state that paper is better for taking notes to be studied and referenced later.

Academics have repeatedly shown that the act of producing work independently from memory, without the prompts provided by a keyboard, forces students to engage with their work more deeply. As a result, this helps them commit their learning to their long-term memory. By using technology for school paired with the benefits of a paper and pen, technology is used as a supplementary tool rather than the whole experience.

For many students, they don’t fully understand a topic until they either reiterate the content back to someone else or they teach someone the material. Writing down what you have learned on a piece of paper or in your notebook is a good way to offset that. Writing your notes over and over again can serve as you teaching someone the material except instead of another person, that someone is you.

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