Learning from a book or learning from technology? I guess you can tell my opinion on this question from the title of this post. I do learn from both and see both being useful, but I also believe that learning from a book is better. And here are five reasons why:
Devices are hard on the eyes.
It’s been proven that looking at a screen for too long can be damaging to our eyesight. I know I’ve had times where I’ve been on a laptop or computer for too long and gotten bloodshot eyes or had my eyes feel tired and grainy.
With books, the only time they are hard on my eyes are the times when I stay up too late reading. And that isn’t the book’s fault; it’s my own. Or maybe it is the book’s fault for being so interesting. But overall the books we learn from aren’t the kind to keep you up late reading…unless you have a deadline.
Reading a book is gentler on our bodies since we don’t have the extra stimulation from electronics and we have natural light to use for reading.
It’s easier to concentrate on an actual book.
Because of the bright lights on the screens and other factors of learning from technology, books are easier to concentrate on. With quiet, an alert mind, and a comfortable chair, it’s easier to focus on a book and really get into what it is saying.
When I am reading something on the computer, I have a greater tendency to skim or skip parts than I do from a physical book. And when you’re reading to learn, it’s not good to skim and skip since you’re missing things that you should be learning.
I’m not saying that I don’t skip parts in a book, but I don’t do it as much as when I am reading on a computer or laptop.
It’s easy to get distracted on technology.
Who has had the problem of picking up their book, fully intending to read it, but next thing you know as you’re flipping through the pages, you’re checking your email or browsing social media? Me neither!
I’ve never had that problem, because books don’t allow you to get on the internet and do things other than what you intended to do. About all you can do with a book is read it or look at the pictures if it has pictures.
But if you’re trying to learn using technology, it’s so much easier to get distracted on a website and waste a bunch of time doing nothing. Yes, I’ve done that. I’ve done it more than I’d rather admit to doing. My college degree was done online, so I spent a lot of time on the computer. And it was so easy to waste time when I should have been studying.
Sitting down and reading a book, as long as your mind doesn’t wander too much, is a good way to study and learn without becoming distracted and losing focus on what you are supposed to be learning.
Technology isn’t always available.
If you have light and a book, you can learn by reading. And it doesn’t even have to be an electric light; it could be a flashlight or a book light.
But to learn from technology, you have to have electricity or a charging source and more than likely internet access. Now, most of the time this is available for us, but not always.
On missions trips where I was in a remote mountain village in Mexico, I struggled with some of my college assignments that had to be done on the internet.
I remember sitting under a shade tree, borrowing the neighbor’s internet, trying to keep the dogs from sitting on top of me and my laptop, taking my final exam. Or sitting on a rock ledge, hoping the internet would be fast enough to watch the video I was supposed to write an article about. It wasn’t always easy to say the least.
Maybe you’re saying, “But I don’t plan to be studying in a remote mountain village on a missions trip.” Well, let me tell you, learning from technology isn’t always an option here at home either.
This last month, where I live here in Texas, we had a major snowstorm. It might not be major for some of you who live in colder climates, but it was major for us. We had record cold and a good-sized snow. My family and I were without power for 54 hours total.
We didn’t have internet for studying, but we did have books. And I did a lot of reading during that time. In times like that, learning from technology isn’t really possible, but learning from a book often is still available.
Too much time on technology is not healthy.
I mentioned briefly in the first point of the post that electronics stimulate the brain. They do not allow it to relax and keep it working even for awhile after you’ve quit using them. The stimulation may help for awhile with learning, but overall it isn’t good for you.
That is why some people say you shouldn’t use electronics during the two hours before you go to bed. This isn’t a rule I follow strictly, but I do try to keep it in mind.
Books do not have adverse effects on our bodies and are actually beneficial for us, allowing us to relax. Learning isn’t always relaxing; too much relaxation doesn’t allow for learning. But learning from a book is healthier than always learning from technology.
Now, I’m not saying that everything we learn should be from a book or that we should never learn from technology. There is a time for learning from technology; I couldn’t have gone through college without it. But whenever possible, I suggest that books be one of our main sources for learning new things.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you learn best? Do you learn more from books or technology?