Focal Topic Proposal

The focal topic I have chosen for this class is digital texts versus printed texts, and how our generation is shifting toward using more digital texts in schools versus printed ones. More so, I want to explore what kinds of digital texts are being used in the classroom today, as well as what professors or philosophers think about the printed text eventually becoming obsolete in the education system. I would also want to weigh in on the pros and cons of digital texts versus printed ones, by exploring various case studies that examine the advantages and disadvantages of both. I am interested in exploring this topic because I eventually want to teach one day and I would like to know different teachers’ and professors’ opinions on which text is more effective in terms of teaching material to students. I also took a class titled EDT 246 that had a unit on exploring digital literacy, and I was able to research someone who had an abundance of knowledge on that topic.

Most of the problems or concerns stemming from this focal topic have to do with where students are at in terms of a technological standpoint, and also where students will be in the future in regards to understanding how to utilize various forms of digital literacy. Teachers want to present information to students in the best way in which the students can learn, and in about twenty years teaching students while using a textbook or novel might even seem outdated or foreign to some students. I want to see if the textbook is a timeless tool for teaching, or if the use of online texts quickly eradicates that notion.

In terms of arguments I might take in regards to my focal topic, I might take the side of utilizing printed texts in school because I was primarily raised on them and taught with them through my early educational years. Then I would explore the opposing argument, and see if there are any compromises between the two texts that might be useful in the classroom.

Most conversations about this topic that I have come across are included in articles and blogs that are in pdf format or on online sites. Some are also available in textbooks, but those seem a little outdated. The people who are generally starting the conversation about printed versus digital texts are mainly professors, and high school teachers who want to know the best way to teach their set curriculum to their students. Most of them are English teachers, trying to figure out if an online text is much more convenient as opposed to a printed one. I have also found a few case studies that explore the benefits of various forms of digital literacy used in the classroom. Professors mainly created these case studies, and in doing so they had mostly high school and college students participate in them. In terms of people invested in this topic, I would say teachers are mainly the ones devoted, but also students as well. After all, the argument being made for using digital or printed texts in the classroom has mainly to do with them and how they retain certain information in the best way.

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