An increasing number of schools provide tablets and laptop computers for students to use in school, replacing books and other printed materials like exams and assignments. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend.
Educational institutions have increasingly made electronic gadgets available to their students for learning hence, outdating books and printed materials. While this trend promotes better learning outcomes by increased availability of a wide range of information, it could be a source of distraction to the students. Digital learning promotes better learning outcomes primarily by increased access to a wealth of information. When students are exposed to this, it reinforces what they are being taught in the classrooms, strengthens their knowledge base and makes them exceedingly vast in the field. In addition, with the help of these devices, the variety of information is being made readily accessible, as electonic gadgets are easier to carry around more than a pile of books. A recent study conducted in America, amongst adults who owned at least one one electronic device or the other, showed that 90% of the population have ready access to their electronic devices especially their phones than hardcopy materials. Therefore, a plethora of information, readily available and accessible to students makes learning more convenient, faster and better for the students. One major drawback of this trend is its tendency to cause distractions. Since these devices make wide ranging information readily available and accessible, a considerable part of this wealth of information is pertaining to fun, thrill and entertainment, which are considered to be more pleasurable than studying. Since school age children do not have the strong will against distractions, they are often suckers for these. Distraction is estimated to be the leading cause of failure among high school students in the United States according to The Forbes editorial, 2016. In conclusion, digital learning is considered a positive development as it improves learning through vast information availability and convenience. However, a lot needs to be done to prevent the students from being distracted as this simply is counterproductive.