Tel Aviv University, Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 90-96
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Lecturers at educational institutions are being urged to replace textbooks by electronic ones. This is done in order to favor the trends of environment preservation and cost saving. The assumption is that students support this ideological stand. However, a study carried out at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo and at Tel Aviv University revealed a different picture.
The following research question was investigated: Do the Net generation students prefer to study with a textbook or with a computer?
The finding that the majority of students preferred to study English with a textbook was rather unexpected given the fact that they belong to what researchers call the Net generation/ Digital natives (Prensky, 2001; Silbenberg, 2011; Tapscott, 2009). However, the finding is consistent with what other researchers (Gregory, 2006; Strother et. al., 2009 ; Mercieca, 2012; Woody et. al., 2010) found: that students preferred printed over digital books and would read extensive assignments from paper rather than from a computer monitor.
In order to find a compromise between making use of the numerous and great possibilities that technology offers and using a printed book, I created two sites in the Web at the Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo: one for the community of teachers and one for the students. The latter is meant to be a complement to the book (for internal use) which the students buy at the College.
Postman (1992) asserted that "the notion that "progress" is a natural and inevitable advancing of humankind is an example of technological prejudice". I believe that the insistence of some educational institutions to do away with textbooks is an example of this technological prejudice.
Digital textbooks should be used as a complement and not as a substitute for printed textbooks.