The debate on whether reading “real” books, i.e. paper, is better than digital versions continues. This interesting topic came to our attention from New Republic in their article, “Why Digital Reading Is No Substitute for Print.”

Both parents and teachers are asking whether students learn as much when they read digitally as they do in print. Computer-based media is a key tool being used in any educational system. And that is an improvement over just traditional textbooks, right?

It seems that the answer isn’t a definitive “yes.” As the popularity of e-books, online learning and open educational resources continues to rise, researchers are trying to determine whether students do as well when reading an assigned text on a digital screen as on paper. There are many aspects, factors and perspectives that have to be considered. For instance, performing better on a test doesn’t necessarily indicate learning. It indicates memorization skills. Does studying on a digital device increase critical thinking abilities or problem solving skills?

These are all good questions.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.