Printed and Digital Media: Printed and Digital Textbooks

  • Ivan Ivić Retired full professor of Developmental psychology at Belgrade University, Serbia
Keywords: digital and printed media, impact of digital media, comparison of digital and printed textbooks, educational effects of printed and digital textbooks


 This paper aims to sketch a framework for comparing the efficiency of printed and digital textbooks. Considering the fact that digital textbooks are a relatively new phenomenon, they lack both practical experiences with their use, and research on their efficiency - which is why all results will only be of a preliminary nature. This is also why our paper will focus on an initial definition of not only the theoretical framework for analysing the nature of digital media, but also for analysing printed and digital textbooks. The broadest theoretical framework consists of Lev Vygotsky’s theory on the character of culturally-psychological tools and their influence on the functional organisation of the brain and of Marshall McLuhan’s theory of media, concerning the general fact of the medium (and not its content). The theoretical analysis shows that media (printed and digital) have significant impacts on the functional organisation of the brain, which is based on the brain’s neuroplasticity. The analysis of digital media shows that they possess a set of specific features that, despite all the advantages they have, carry important risks for the organisation and functioning of the brain and for the process of learning. The production of digital textbooks also faces a significant number of challenges that the current production has not yet solved. Empirical research on the process of digital reading and understanding what has been read, indicate all the problems that still exist in digital textbook creation.



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