By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
Increasing use of tablets and iPads is robbing children of their dexterity and learning skills according to a report from the UK’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers at their recent annual conference in Manchester. It seems that despite having the ability to swipe a screen, today’s infants are losing the ability to play with building bricks and learning to write as a result of early addiction to tablets.
What seems like a good idea to introduce them to computers, is inhibiting their education warned the teachers in a report which also alleged that some older children were also unable to complete traditional pen and paper examinations after spending long hours glued to these devices.
The Association warns parents to limit the amount of time children spend on their tablets and even urged parents to turn off Wi-Fi access at night in a bid to get the children to turn to more traditional learning methods. This warning came at the same time as the UK regulator OFCOM suggested that the proportion of UK households with tablet computers more than doubled from 20% to 51% in 2013.
One teacher reported to the conference that the “brilliant computer skills displayed by pupils were outweighed by their deteriorating skills in pen and paper exams because they rely on instant support of the computer and are often unable to apply what they should have learned from their textbooks”.
While this is bad news for today’s parents, it is a sign that ink on paper is far from dead when it comes to a place in modern education and that educational publishers still have a lot to contribute to schools and colleges.
Publishing Printers Fight Back
The demand for more traditional textbooks is falling as a result of the internet making information freely available to students, but publishers are starting to fight back with bespoke versioning of books for specific courses and personalised to the needs of individual teachers and lecturers. Technology allows books to incorporate QR codes, providing links to video and animation on the reader’s smartphone and provide a true multiple-media learning experience.
QR codes integrated into printed school text book
Landa’s Nanography® Process Brings New Possibilities to Textbook Industry
Benny Landa’s Nanography® process will also soon start to play a role in providing publishers with the tools to fight back against the dominance of tablets in our children’s education. For a start the ability to produce short-run, personalised versions of text books in full colour at the same or lower production costs as modern offset presses, will redress the financial imbalance.
At the same time the ability to print on a much wider range of substrates will introduce innovation and lower production and distribution costs. Finishing can take place immediately, as the printed sheet is dry when it leaves the press and integration into web-to-print systems will allow for quick turnaround for changes and updates to teaching courses.
No one is suggesting that we should try to take back computers from the iPad generation, but the timely warning from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers puts ink on paper firmly back in the classroom.
Image source (lobby page): http://doyle-scienceteach.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-in-ipad-does-not-stand-for-infant.html
Image source (above): http://www.mathycathy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/1-step-Equations-QR-Problem-Solving.pdf