Are Digital Learning Solutions Too Convenient for Students?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

child on computer

By Edward Nawotka

The great thing about students is they pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to — essentially — do little more than read and talk about what they are reading. How much of that translates into traditional book reading these days is up for debate.

As today’s lead editorial discusses, education publishers are striving to deliver authoritative information to students in a variety of digital formats, in part to combat the plethora of unvetted information available online.

What’s interesting to note is that these publishers often rely on live updates from the World Wide Web — a notoriously unreliable source — which the publishers then vet for reliability. The convenience of such solutions creates an environment that amounts to easy, frictionless research for students.

Yet, isn’t part of the research process designed to teach students how to determine the reliability of a source themselves, primary or otherwise? The ability to vet information for reliability is — in my opinion — one of the key skills that a student acquires as part of their education.

Are digital learning solutions making research too convenient for students? Could they be, in some small way, counterproductive to education?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.