Is Technology Interfering With Learning in Schools?

The use of some technologies in the classroom could be hurting rather than helping learning, according to a growing body of research.

International studies are questioning the practice of replacing hard copy schoolbooks with electronic tablets, a trend that appears to be on the increase in Ireland. ...


An expert in technical communication has warned, however, that simply replacing hard copy text books with technology may be damaging children’s ability to learn.

Dr Ann Marcus-Quinn, a lecturer in Technical Communication and Instructional Design at the University of Limerick, said international research shows that crucial skills such as the ability to empathise and critically analyse texts may be compromised by a shift to reading texts on tablets.

She said such a move replaces the deep reading process which the reader of a hard copy text experiences, with "skim" reading, where the reader looks out for key words and may believe that they are fully absorbing the text but in fact are not.

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