Research finds as students return to in-person learning, parents believe physical books are the more effective learning tool; cite ‘distractions’ during online reading as major concern.
St-Jerome, QC, June 2, 2021 – Following a year of extraordinary disruption to the nation’s educational system and the necessary shift to online instruction, parents of students in grades K-12 have reached a clear consensus: When it comes to books, the physical version matters.
Parents are acutely focused on what their children learn and are convinced they will learn more via printed materials, according to national study conducted in the United States recently by pollster Frank Luntz. The survey of 1,000 parents with school-aged children across the country found the following:
- Virtually every parent wants physical materials as a part of student learning. 85% of parents want physical books in some form, and 88% think they are essential learning tools for long-term student success.
- 76% of parents find physical books “extremely/very” impactful, compared to 68% for online/digital books.
- When given the choice of only one or the other, 69% of parents prefer physical materials and only 31% choose online materials.
- Physical books matter greatly in school board elections. 71% of parents would be more likely to vote for a school board member who supports students learning with physical materials – over the 29% who would prefer a member who wants online materials.
- The frustrations with online learning during COVID are real. More than 80% of parents from all backgrounds (including 74% of those who typically favor online materials) believe physical materials would have made their jobs easier helping their students from home.
As a manufacturer of sustainable recycled paper we are glad to see the important role that printed documents play in children’s education and are proud to be part of it, said Renée Yardley, Sr VP Sales and Marketing at Rolland Papers.
In addition to the survey, Dr. Naomi Baron of American University, penned a whitepaper summarizing the scientific research of the benefits of print reading versus digital reading. Both the survey information and the whitepaper can be found on the BMI website.
The survey was put together by the Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI), a non-profit trade association. Rolland is a proud member of the BMI and was excited to help sponsor this research.