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If you have a “feel good” or inspiring story about an achievement of your centre or foundation or of one of your trainers, or students, we would like to here from you. The best stories will be featured on our blog where others can be inspired by them. Send your stories to admin[at]courseware4u.co.za.

Print versus Digital

Everyone has an opinion about the print vs. digital debate. Facts and figures can be quoted on both sides, making a compelling argument for each. The argument can go on forever because the truth is, neither platform is inherently bad or good. Both have unique pros and cons. This makes the decision about which one to choose nearly impossible

In 2013, a survey in Brittain was conducted by the National Literacy Trust. Almost 35 000 students ages 8 to 16 took part in the survey. According to their findings,, over 52% preferred to read digital compared to 32% of students who preferred print. This is said to be because the students who preferred digital were more likely exposed to technology.

While they concluded with a call for more research, the researchers wrote, “It is fair to say that reading digitally is part and parcel of living and learning in the 21st century ………. No matter how complex the question of reading across mediums may be, teachers and students must understand how and when to employ a digital reading device.”

Since research indicates that the majority of teachers/trainers rates themselves low when asked about their skill in digital content evaluation, teachers should be trained in how to select digital content.

While certain students prefer the feel, smell and idea of old school print, tech-savvy students tend to go for the digital version. But a 2017 research shows that while students may read digital books faster, they don’t read them as closely, meaning retention is less.

Advantages of printed material

For more then a decade now, people have predicted that print would die. However, these rumours have been circulating for years; and yet, print remains.

  1. Print books are often easier to share. It’s as simple as lending the book and getting it back, whenever. Sharing digital books is a work in progress.
  2. Print books can be read anywhere — in sun, shade, inside, or outside. Digital devices with reading apps often suffer glare on the screen or dim to unreadability in full sun. While this isn’t true of many dedicated reading devices, it is true of all reading apps adapted to Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones.
  3. Digital books often require their own proprietary program. For example, Kindle books can’t be read on iBooks. RAZ Kids books can’t be read on a Nook, and many textbooks require a publisher-provided reader. That means students have to get used to the intricacies of many different readers. For many who are not technically inclined, that can daunting.
  4. Print books don’t require electricity, batteries, Internet, or WiFi. They don’t rely on websites that could crash or complicated steps required to open a book. Even better, there is no person anywhere that can’t show a child how to read from a print book.
  5. Digital ebook files are fragile. They can be corrupted or lost.
  6. Reading print books has fewer distractions than reading on a digital device. Even if students are on a school site, the very nature of a digital device with its one-click access to millions of activities is distracting.
  7. The studies showed students read digital formats faster — at a cost. Students gleaned the main idea from digital texts as well as they did from print. But they absorbed fewer details, which suggests students are much better off reading print for, especially, in-depth, university-level study.

Advantages of Digital?

Those in favour of digital have numerous arguments to support their choice:

  1. Digital books are lighter to carry. More than that, if students have their digital device with them, they have all the books needed for classwork and homework. No forgotten books. If the Internet connection works, the books are available.
  2. Digital books are easily and cleanly annotated with notes that are quickly erased at the end of the school year.
  3. Many teachers and parents believe students prefer digital. That means they will more eagerly open an ebook than a print book. (However, one 2016 study showed that 92 percent of students prefer print to digital.)
  4. Digital books can be interactive, allowing students to access videos, audio clips, images, slideshows and more from within the ebook. In many cases, students can even take a picture of the class screen or a sample project and insert it into the digital file. These can be shared with classmates without finding a copy machine.
  5. Digital books are more affordable.
  6. Where print books might be out of date because they are only printed every decade (or so), digital books can be updated immediately.
  7. Digital adapts to students who are reading challenged by providing larger fonts, unique fonts, and color changes that work better for unique needs.
  8. Digital readers make it easy to look up unknown words, copy-paste portions of what’s being read to a notetaking tool, and dig deeper into a topic that encourages interest.
  9. Dedicated education sites make lots of digital resources and curricula available to teachers as they plan their lessons. This is not only convenient but more affordable than all those extra textbooks.

Courseware 4u and Digital

Although many readers and learners still prefer physical print books, eBooks do have some distinct benefits and offer versatility that print cannot. While print books aren’t going away anytime soon, there are many situations in which eBooks provide an advantage over traditional paper media. That is why we at Courseware4U have decided to also give our customers the option of buying our excellent courseware in eBook format.

There are many reasons why readers may want to give eBooks a try. They provide more versatility than print and have many advantages that make the reading experience easier and more enjoyable.

All our customizable manuals are written in Microsoft Word and sold in digital format. It can therefore be completely customized and re-branded by license holders using Microsoft Word or any other word processor. What is more, Coursewae4U training material is sold with a “lifetime license” that does not require annual license renewals. And important! Our authors, writers, editors, designers and compilers have more than 15 years’ experience in the field op courseware production.

Although we specialise in editable, customizable courseware, we also provide the same training material in print format. The printed copies are identical to the digital (customizable) version of our course material because as was pointed out above, there are many trainers and students who still prefer the printed format.


On balance, there are more pros for digital than print, but that doesn’t tell the full story. You may consider “Easily carried” (for digital) as ten times more important than “Can be read anywhere.” It really depends upon the needs of your students. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Self-Studying: What’s the Benefit and How to Do It

Original Article from https://www.ivywise.com/ivywise-knowledgebase/newsletter/article/self-studying-whats-the-benefit-and-how-to-do-it/

With an increasing number of new technologies and an expanding global population, self-studying is on the rise. Education is no longer confined to just the classroom, and some would argue that the classroom model is outdated and does not meet the intellectual needs of individuals in such an interconnected society.

Being an autodidact, or self-teacher, has become increasingly feasible due to MOOCs (massive open online courses), Internet encyclopedias, and more colleges and universities offering courses online. Learning a new language or obtaining a certificate for career advancement can occur from the comfort of your home, on your own time, and at your own pace. At low costs, these methods of education are encroaching upon traditional educational institutions.

For high school students, self-studying can help improve transcripts. In the context of Advanced Placement exams, self-learning gives students whose high schools do not offer certain AP courses the opportunity to still take AP exams. While it is hard work, independently studying for and taking AP exams can allow students to receive college credit before freshman year even begins. Additionally, high school students benefit from self-studying habits to prepare for a more independent learning environment in college.

Self-studying for AP exams and taking courses online can help a student’s chances of college admission. Admissions officers like to see students take initiative and go beyond their high school curriculum by exploring academic interests on their own. If a student takes an AP exam that isn’t offered at their high school and scores a 4 or a 5, that will show how the student has gone above and beyond to learn that subject in depth. For example, if a student is interested in engineering, but their schools does not offer AP Physics, they can study for and take the AP exam on their own to showcase this specific interest and dedication to colleges. Online classes, like those offered through edX and other MOOCs, can be added to resumes, and studying for subjects independently can be written about in application essays about how academic interests developed. Self-studying is an excellent way to highlight personal drive and intellectual curiosity when applying to schools.

In higher education, some argue that it is especially important for students to be assigned projects and material suitable for self-learning, so that they may exercise and develop intellectual independence and explore subject matter they personally find interesting. One study suggests that self-study, in addition to being more affordable and convenient, is surpassing classroom learning as far as effectiveness. Self-study and traditional classroom learning complement one another. When used together, they help students learn and retain information better; however, the world is becoming more accustomed to the benefits of solely self-learning.

The Internet is an optimal resource for aspiring autodidacts, and with more sites being geared specifically towards learning anytime and anywhere, individuals all over the world have access to a cost-efficient and customizable education. Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Academic Earth are just a few of the low-cost or free education providers available through the web. Classes covering physics, law, business, engineering, politics, history and more are available and many contain lectures, quizzes, and tests that students complete at their own pace. Because of this autodidactic approach, students in MOOCs have been found to test better than students taking the same courses in large in-person lectures.

While it is unlikely that the classroom as an educational forum will ever be entirely replaced, as the benefits of a physical space for collaboration with intellectual and social growth is undeniable, self-learning will likely become increasingly integrated into traditional educational institutions. Students of all ages may find exploring a subject matter of interest or learning a new skill on their own time, and at a low cost, to be highly rewarding. After all, a sense of freedom and self-determination can come with being your own teacher, as it is believed that if people begin with learning what they really want to, then that thirst for knowledge will spread to other subjects.

Self-learning does take a lot of discipline and can be difficult at first, but like any endeavor, with time it becomes easier. Self-study, when done correctly, is a very effective learning tool, so it can be helpful when used to prepare for a test or learn an entirely new subject matter on your own. Here are some tips for practicing successful self-studying:

Set realistic goals. Setting work goals for yourself, ones that realistically fit in with your life and other commitments, is important when creating self-study habits. You can set yourself up for success by assigning only a certain number of chapters to read each night, adjusting your workload according to how hectic your schedule is in any given week, and giving yourself a mental break each week to let your mind rest.
Find what works for you. There are many different ways to learn, and it is important to adjust studying techniques to find what works for your brain. Some students find reading aloud helpful, others like taking handwritten notes rather than typing. Discover whatever works best for you, and stick with it.
Review material the same day you learn it. After taking notes in an online course, or reading the next chapter in your textbook, make sure you review all the new material, by typing up your notes, practicing your new skill, or reading over a chapter again, to help it resonate. While this may seem tedious, it only takes a short amount of time. Reviewing can help with long-term absorption of material, so it decreases the need of cramming in the future.
Study in short, frequent sessions. Instead of treating your study session like a marathon, break up your material by topic into a series of short sessions, separated by short breaks. That way, you won’t be staring at your books or computer for too long while wearing on your focus, and your brain can absorb the material more easily. While cramming may seem like a great way to cover a lot of material in a condensed amount of time, studying in short, frequent sessions is a more effective way to learn subject matter and self-study.
Prepare and maintain your study environment. When learning remotely it is important to create a study space for yourself. By setting aside a desk or table that is a designated environment for self-studying or completing an online course, you will know to be mentally prepared to learn when you enter that space.
Self-studying is a useful tool to enhance any learning experience, and when mastered, students young and old reap the benefits. Whether applied to studying for an AP exam or exploring new material independently due to sheer curiosity, self-studying can lead to new opportunities academically and professionally. Remember to utilize the world around you! Technology has put knowledge at your fingertips, so take advantage of all the easily accessible and low-cost tools at your disposal.

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