Remember the days of lugging your books around from classroom to classroom, home, and then back to school again? Or how about when your textbook pages were covered with sticky notes (until they fell off somewhere never to be found again) because actually making notes in the margins would get you a detention and possibly a fine? As technology progresses and more and more textbooks are available online, these scenarios are becoming a thing of the past. In this blog we are going to take a look at the benefits of using eBooks in the classroom.
- Technology enhances learning. Often referred to as the “Net Generation,” our young learners see a good portion of their worlds through the screen, and their brains have adapted to learning that way. Since a child learns more successfully when he or she is engaged and comfortable with the way material is presented, it’s clear that using technology can be beneficial to the learning process.
- Convenience. We already mentioned how much easier it is to carry around a small electronic device that houses all necessary textbooks. Having everything in one place makes it less likely that the necessary learning tools will be left in the locker or on the coffee table back home.
- Differentiation. Different students learn differently and eBooks help our experienced teachers provide the most up-to-date best teaching practices, including differentiation strategies. eBooks allow the student to:
- Take notes and highlight right in the text
- Use the search function to find relevant information
- Access learning aids and applications
- Take advantage of the text-to-speak function (especially when specified as an accommodation)
- Adjust font size and screen brightness (especially when specified as an accommodation)
- Multimedia tie-ins. When a student uses an eBook, the universe of research is literally at his or her fingertips. With a built-in dictionary, word definitions are a click away. Supplemental videos and historical information, another click. In addition, students can use devices to connect to interactive whiteboards, and even the lessons can become much more interactive.
Of course, people will argue that there are negative consequences of using eBooks in the classroom. This includes increased screen time and online distractions. Indeed, there is no doubt that when embracing technology, we all have a responsibility to be mindful of balance. Both on-and-off screen engagement is key for these young Net Generation learners, and with the right controls, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
To learn more about how technology is used in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford, visit our blogs: “Catholic Schools: Technology in the Classroom” and “Learning: There’s an App for That.”
How has your child benefitted from using eBooks in school? Let us know on our social media pages.