By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An article in the Global New York Times, titled “Long Live Paper” quotes the federal Secretary of Education declaring a war on textbooks saying, “Over the next few years….textbooks should be obsolete.”
But author, Justin B. Hollander, points out that while technology has a place, books have been the foundation for the greatest education systems on the planet. A parallel: When cars first started to fill the highways, cities encouraged the dismantling of trains and streetcars.
Bicycles were rejected mid-20th century and today they are helping save the environment. Hollander’s thesis is that we shouldn’t jump at new technology because of its advantages; like other changes, time and study will reveal advantages and disadvantages.
Paper’s strength and durability has lasted thousands of years, has preserved information… and textbooks can be stored and easily referenced. He writes that the “digitalization of information offers instant transmission, easy searchability and broad distribution” but cautions us before we shred books, to remember the heyday of streetcars.