Paper has been and continues to be key in the process of civilization in the history of mankind. And, today, after the rapid development of digital technology in education and business environment, comparisons are beginning to be made and results are being verified.
The paper in teaching
For years we have witnessing how digital technologies are being incorporated into the tools of the classrooms of schools and teaching centers very quickly.
In this scenario, the latest studies have been dealing with a detailed analysis of the advantages and scope of the various supports to strengthen educational strategies in combination. Two Sides’ latest research* shows why, during any learning process, printed paper, notebooks, and pencils remain indispensable in the literacy and teaching processes.
- The wider the range of handwriting skills, the better the academic performance.
- Students who read academic texts printed on paper obtain better scores on reading comprehension test than those who only read in digital format.
- The latest research suggests that handwriting in the early years is essential for good reading.
- Students who write texts by hand, produce words more quickly than on a keyboard, and express more ideas, and a greater activation of the areas of the brain associated with memory is observed.
- More details are remembered from stories read on paper than from those read in electronic books.
- Millennials say they prefer paper. In fact, 60 out of 66 students prefer paper to the computer when they study.
- The printed text allows readers a mental mapping -chapter, pg. left or right, place on the page…- which improves learning, retention, and general comprehension.
- A survey of Oxford students revealed that: ‘screen reading is shallower… concentration and reading time are shorter’ and then ‘screen reading requires more effort to focus.’
Let us not forget, because it is essential in the processes of memory and learning, the sensory and tactile experience, even olfactory -that smell of lignin and ink of new books-, and the possibility of underlining, marking, or annotating by hand directly on paper.
The role in the organizational environment
All the above is applicable to the organizational world, which includes all labor circumstances related to the organization, functions and contents and the execution of work in companies. These working conditions affect the general status of the workforce and their performance within the organizations and, therefore, the results.
Indeed, electronic means have meant and will continue to mean enormous advances that enable huge steps forward in all directions in the organization of companies: from the collection and processing of information and data, through security in the management of information and its storage, removal of distances…etc. However, reading on paper, writing, taking notes or preparing sketches by hand, remains fundamental to the way our brains understands, assimilates, displays, remembers and uses in context.
The paper and our interactions with it remain essential in the learning and organizational processes. A careful and wise combination of electronic and paper media will be the perfect recipe for adequate learning and performance in each case.
And, when it comes to packaging, paper also has its role…