The book versus the screen: educational media in the digital age

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Compared to the book, the electronic screen has had a very brief history as an educational aid, but its development and use in educational contexts has generated considerable comment in the few decades of its existence. It is therefore possible for historians of education to consider the statements and claims which have been made for the merits of screen‐based learning, as against more traditional modes of education.

This paper analyses differing strands of the discourse on screen based learning in the United Kingdom over the past two decades, and contrasts the claims and views of politicians and educationalists on the benefits and potential of screen based learning. Analysis of what has been written and said over the past two decades casts doubt on the Department of Education and Employment's claim that “there is no room for scepticism” about the promotion of screen based learning, and reveals differing conceptions about what learning is and how it takes place. Consideration of these differences might help to inform the ongoing debate about the role of new technology in education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-401
Number of pages15
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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