The Results Are In: Paper Remains the Preferred Technology for Productive Learning

Paper and Productive Learning: The Third Annual Back-to-School Report Reveals Surprising Findings among Millennial Parents & Students

Despite technology’s prominence in the 21st century, when it comes to education and productivity, students and parents still prefer the oldest technology, paper. In fact, the clear majority of parents (96 percent) feel that paper is essential to learning. The recently released, Paper and Productive Learning: The Third Annual Back-to-School Report from the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), reveals that 93 percent of college students and 87 percent of 7-12 grade students believe that paper is an essential part of being able to achieve their educational goals.

The Paper and Productive Learning report exclusively shares the results of a survey conducted by IPSOS, which surveyed over 1,400 students and parents in the United States. While the report notes that about 8 in 10 people (79 percent) surveyed think paper and packaging is relevant in their daily lives, findings about the value of paper in learning among millennial parents were surprising. Nearly 89 percent of millennial parents believe their child remembers assignments better when he or she writes them down on paper. 72.4 percent of them agree they have seen their child have trouble staying focused when they do homework on a computer or tablet. Fully 95 percent of millennial parents believe paper is an essential part of children being able to achieve their educational goals.

Students today, who have grown up with smartphones and tablets, actually prefer to use paper for learning, with two out of three (70 percent) 7-12 grade students preparing for tests by taking handwritten class notes. Half of students (50 percent) surveyed in grades 7 and 8 believe they best learn information by handwriting it. When it comes to exam preparation, over eight in ten (81 percent) of college students report always/often using paper tools, such as notecards, handouts, study sheets or printed lectures/slides.

Reading on paper is also beneficial for successful learning, development and retention. In an essay written for the report, Dr. Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics at American University and author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, says, “in a study I did with over 400 university students in five countries, 92 percent of participants said the reading platform on which they concentrate best is print.” She also notes that students say they remember more when they read on printed material.

To promote the mental and physical benefits reading on paper can provide P+PB will introduce a new reading program later this summer. The 15 Pages A Day program will encourage everyone to pledge to read at least 15 print pages daily to yield several potential benefits including increased language and mental development as well as improved memory.

Click here to read and download the full Paper and Productive Learning report.

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