Social Emotional Learning: Digital vs Text

When the pandemic started in 2020 school had to make a BIG shift and educators had to adapt in order to keep students on track. School moved to online classes and digital material helped make this transition easier. 

Though digital material has its place in education it also has its limitations. These limitations were made very clear throughout the pandemic as students went to school remotely. Students became more isolated, some children fell behind in academics and overall mental health took a plunge. Proving the point that people crave and desire connection with others and that although digital advances and interaction have their benefits they also have their limitations.  

Now that children are back in school some of the digital tools educators have been using have stayed and school districts have had to decide if they should continue investing in digital tools, print material, or a combination of both. 

Print vs Digital curriculum

Print matters – studies have shown that print is the most effective way for students to learn and retain the material. People tend to put more effort when reading print rather than digital text and less time skimming through the material.

Especially in the subject of social-emotional learning where we emphasize human-to-human interaction, a healthy balance between life skills, emotional skills, and a growth mindset. A printed curriculum can provide more opportunities for connection and discussion with fewer distractions.

A survey done by The Bay View Analytics showed that 61% of teachers prefer using printed materials rather than digital and 59% of students said they feel they retain more when the material is in print. 

Using Digital to Enhance SEL:

  • Facilitate collaboration
  • Easier progress tracking
  • Multimedia input – information is reinforced when text and video/pictures are presented together

What is a good balance between digital text and printed text?igital

“My Best Me” has written the curriculum with these thoughts in mind. We understand the importance of printed materials and continue to create digital material to enhance the learning experience and discussion.

little girl with headphones learning a school lesson using a multimedia format

Multimedia Learning is Here to Stay

Multimedia Learning is Here to Stay

Multimedia learning provides so much more than plain text, both in content and in benefits for students! It’s one the main reasons we made sure our curriculum incorporated multimedia elements for every grade and lesson. Here are four ways multimedia learning helps students succeed in their learning journeys.

Visual Creatures

Large sections of the brain are dedicated to perceiving and understanding visual stimuli. Multimedia learning helps engage the mind by using pictures, interactive activities, videos, and animations alongside the text material. Text is strengthened with these tools used together, further engaging the students growing minds by using different areas of the brain to reinforce learning complex concepts.

Engaging Learning Tools

Multimedia is ever-present in our daily lives. Computers, smartphones, and other screens are integrated into everything from entertainment to advertising to professional environments. At younger ages, children are accustomed to media being an entertainment source. Multimedia learning can help children adapt to perceiving media as a learning tool as well. Videos can be gleaned for information, text can be dynamically read, and interactive activities are puzzles to be solved. By introducing multimedia learning, not only can the student’s problem solving be improved, but they can also have a more healthy base relationship with technology by being introduced to it as a resource for learning.

Fosters Curiosity

By properly using the media resources, students can look beyond their own experiences and witness new cultures, customs, subjects, and more. With the aid of teachers and parents, multimedia learning can help expand students’ world views, showing more about the world outside of their neighborhoods. After being shown the world of endless possibilities and education, students become naturally more curious. Once they learn successfully through multimedia and see the rest of what they can know, there is a natural excitement and curiosity when approaching the world around them.

Increased Accessibility

Students are individuals and therefore have various learning styles that they use to understand the world around them. For students who struggle with reading, either due to age or a learning disability, text-only mediums can be problematic as a sole source of information. Multimedia learning opens up new learning opportunities for students like this. With more visuals, audio, animations, videos, and interactive activities, they would have access to information in more ways to help them learn. Multimedia can also help children who struggle to read learn to read better! With engaging activities, targeted visuals, and helpful videos, they can focus on learning to read to increase that skill rather than becoming overwhelmed in information at the same time.   With multimedia learning, students can become more engaged in their learning, have a better relationship with technology, become more curious, and help get over learning hurdles. This dynamic content delivery had already made a huge, positive impact on how we help students and will continue to make waves in education for decades to come.