Book versus Tablet

Tech vs. Tangible

Clonard is in the business of facilitating distance education with the provision of top grade worksheets, workbooks and reference books that we publish and print in-house and distribute nationwide.  As we strive for continuous product and service improvement, we must consider and embrace relevant developments in technology to see how we can improve our offering to satisfy the needs of our customers.

Consider the case of hard copy books versus digital/on-line books:


  • Feels ‘real’ & ‘tangible’
  • Material credibility
  • Often easier to read on paper
  • More ‘familiar’ to the educator
  • Can be used without a computer
  • Never a technical glitch

  • Cheap and quick to distribute
  • Relatively easy to revise/update
  • Can generally adjust size for reading comfort
  • Searchable content
  • Does not degrade with age

What research says

A study by the BookTrust published in The Gaurdian about a year ago states the following:  “The majority of parents are concerned about their children using interactive eBooks.  More than 1500 parents of UK children aged up to age 8 were surveyed.  Concerns ranged from the fact that the use of interactive eBooks would increase children’s screen time, to the fear that children would lose interest in printed books.  More than a quarter of parents believed that eBooks would affect a child’s attention span and expose them to inappropriate content.  Parents thought that print books are better for children’s eyes, healthy sleep and give their children ‘less headaches’”.  Print also came out top for educational reading, with 69% enjoying the format, compared to 34% for interactive eBooks and 15% for simple eBooks.  So, in a nutshell, according to this survey on The Digital Reading Habits of Children, print remains the preferred reading format (for now). This article and research could be a bit biased as BookTrust is obviously a fan of printed books.

We found another study in the Los Angeles Times conducted around the same time but with older students in America, Japan and Germany that supports these findings with the following statement: “92% of college students prefer print books to eBooks”. This conclusion from American University professor, Naomi S Baron, who led a team that asked 300 college students how they prefer to read.

What do you think?

We consider ourselves to be a bit traditional at Clonard – when it comes to our values at least.  That is not to say that we are behind the times.  We would love to hear from you on this subject of hard copy versus electronic books for education, so please leave your thoughts or any further comments on the subject below.

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