Can an Educated Society Be Sustained Solely by Digitalization?

| February 14, 2020


Categories: There are 4 major categories for submissions: 1. Editorial model – Solutions that involve newspaper content (factual information that is updated regularly) or the professionals involved in the creation of editorial content. 2. Economic Vitality (Business/circulation model) – Solutions that involve the organizations that publish newspapers and related mass media products and their leadership, management, human resources, capital, distribution (circulation), and related dimensions, and the professionals involved in business and circulation. 3. Environmental Accountability Model – Paper versus digital issues. 4. Social Responsibility Model – Informed versus uninformed Society %u261EWithin each major category there are three subcategories: 1. Professional – employed and previously employed working journalists, managers, and executives. 2. Academic – Journalism teaching professionals employed or previously employed in higher education (education beyond high school). 3. Student – Students currently enrolled in good standing in an institution of higher education beyond high school. Manuscript Guidelines: In general, all papers should: 1. Be in 12-point, Times New Roman font. 2. Be in black ink. 3. Have 1-inch margins surrounding the text. 4. Be double spaced, with the exception of endnotes and references. 5. Be page numbered consecutively. 6. Have references/endnotes at the end of the document. 7. Have graphics, images, tables, etc. numbered and placed at the appropriate place in the text. 9. Be no longer than the maximum stated page or word length. 10. Include an abstract, which does not count against the total length of the submission. 11. Use American English spelling and terminology. 12. Use APA, MLA, or Chicago style or a consistent, essay-writing style with references at the end of the document. 13. Have acronyms spelled out on first use followed by the acronym in parentheses? Abstract: Each submission must include an abstract of approximately 150 words describing the primary objective of the submission and primary conclusions, findings, arguments, etc. The abstract page does not count toward the total page or word length of submission.


Name of student:salamAlmaghslah

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Digitization has changed the way societies receive information. The changes that have been brought about by digitization can be explained through five models: (a) the editorial model (b) economic Vitality (c) environmental accountability model (d) social responsibility model. Each of these models has three subcategories relating to professional, academic and student aspects.


The editorial model

Digitization has made it easy for people to access the latest information that used to be transmitted through print media with ease. Today, many major newspaper publishing companies have introduced digital versions of the newspapers. These digital versions are easily accessible on the internet.

Professional aspect

Media professionals sometimes find themselves being overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to seek in order to quench the thirst for information by internet visitors. In the hurry to look for more and more information, it becomes difficult to verify the sources for authenticity.

Academic aspect

Digitization makes it easy for students, professors, researchers, and policymakers to access current and up-to-date information with ease. There is an abundance of information on any topical issue. This is unlike a few decades ago when it was difficult to find a digital version of a newspaper. Today, students are likely to find themselves relying on digitized versions of scholarly materials.

The main problem with this approach to academic research is that the credibility of research can easily be jeopardized since the internet is a hub of both information that is authentic and one that is not authentic. Students are sometimes thought to be the biggest users of digitized content for research purposes. It is likely that not all their instructors and professors know that they are using digitized library materials to conduct research.  In this kind of scenario, it becomes very difficult for regulations to be put in place so that proper research habits can be inculcated in students.

Student aspect

Digitization makes it easy for students to access information fast, with ease and effectively, making it easy for them to avoid the inconveniences of brick-and-mortar libraries. However, lack of funds brings about imbalances in the world of scholarly engagements. Some countries lag behind in the development of digital libraries, yet all students have to compete with their endowed counterparts in terms of academic excellence.

Other challenges that make it difficult for digitization to be a successful approach to education include lack of enough digital and online facilities and shortage of inadequate skilled manpower to deal with problems associated with information technology.

Economic Vitality (Business/circulation model)

Professional aspect

As the internet continues to develop, the economic aspects of education keep on changing. One of these changes is occasioned by digitization. Through digitization, it is possible to access scholarly materials with ease. In some cases, authors have complained that digitization sometimes leads to violation of copyright laws (Alhaji,2007). When books are available freely on the internet, the authors stop getting income that they previously used to get since readers can access them freely.

However, many digitized books and journal articles can only be accessed upon payment of a subscription fee. This way, digitization provides educationists with an alternative way of earning incomes whenever the books they have authored are read.

For digitization to bring about educational sustainability, two conditions need to be met: first, the money generated through subscription must be equivalent to if not more than what the author would earn if the book was sold in a local store. Secondly, the authors must be given the right to change the terms of the agreement entered into by online search engines on how to make book sales. These changes may be occasioned by future technological changes vis-à-vis the dynamics of the global economy.

Academic aspect

Academically, the internet remains a rich and flexible source of information. Many people are worried that academic materials that are in the form of traditional prints may lose relevance. However, it is unlikely that people will stop buying traditional books just because digitized versions exist. Apart from the advantages associated with portability, there is a certain unique sense of attachment that people derive from reading printed academic materials. In this regard, it is reasonable to conclude that digitized references will continue to co-exist with traditional forms of academic references.

Student aspect

For students, the economic benefits that are to be derived from digitization relate to issues of whether more value is added to learning materials as a result of the new technology or not. Today, digitized content is easy to navigate because of intertextuality features. For this reason, students perceived digitized books worth more traditional books.

Environmental Accountability Model

Digitization contributes both positively and negatively to environmental awareness issues. By reducing the number of books that are printed and stored in local libraries, digital technology results in a reduction of exploitation of wood resources, which are the primary products in the manufacture of newsprint papers used in the publication of books.

On the negative side, professionals in developing countries find themselves competing for compliance with the fast pace of digitization. They are forced to recommend that educational institutions import used computers which break down only a few years after they are purchased. This leads to the accumulation of electronic wastes. The environmental impact of these wastes is a major threat to the sustainable development of education through digitization.

Academic aspect

Although times are changing a lot, some things will just remain the same. It is not possible to think about a university without books on the shelves of libraries, where students, researchers, and professors can meet in an atmosphere that is traditionally conducive for research work. Moreover, some scholars, in most cases, those who are considered to be conservative, think that digital libraries are not environmentally sustainable (Banks, 1994).

One of the reasons given for lack of sustainability of education on the digital space is that it interferes with an individual’s level of concentration. It is true that when one is searching for information on the internet, he is likely to wander away from the topic of interest in other websites that deal with issues like social networking, chat, video conferencing, and gaming. This seldom happens in the traditional brick and mortar library.

Additionally, the human-computer interface, if not used in the right way, may lead to many problems including eyesight complications, backaches, and very strong headaches. Additionally, it may be more difficult to inculcate proper environmental management and research methods in children using computers.

Social Responsibility Model

Professional aspect

Digital technology has been highly commercialized in recent years. In all commercial settings, societal concerns do not take a center stage since the top priority is maintaining competition. Professionals have a very important role to play in steering the course of digitized education systems in the right direction.  To ensure sustainability, there is a need for corporate social responsibility initiatives that can be accessed at the same time that researchers are accessing research information.

For professionals, the greatest challenge is that of coming up with websites that counter the negative effects of digital media. A good approach to this form of responsibility would be offering free guidelines to students on how to maintain the best research habits, to overcome distractions that exist in the information superhighway and to deal with environmental challenges that come with digitization.

Academic aspect

Maintaining sustainability in the world of academia is a great challenge. Many scholars have not gotten used to the idea of scholarly exchanges that are conducted entirely on the internet. The establishment of an online community of scholars, students, and education policymakers would help set a good precedent on positively digitized sources of education that can be transformed into positive social change. It is upon the major corporate players engaged in the digital business to sponsor such online forums in order for them to become highly popular.


The digital divide that exists today in the dissemination and sharing of academic resources at the global level does not augur well for education. As education continues to take a global outlook, so do the disparities between those who have access to digitized education and those who do not (Collis and Moonen, 2001). In this regard, ICT education is desperately needed especially in rural areas in developing countries. The best way of supporting digital education platforms, says Banks, 2006,is reaching out to these people and providing them with ICT tools for use in education.

Student aspect

Students are often confronted by many challenges relating to inexperience on how to use digitized materials. The success of education in the digital era lies in the extent to which these students are offered help in the spirit of corporate social responsibility. For an educated society to be sustained through digitization, the ventures entered into by corporate players should bring about the participation of managers of educational institutions and experienced students.

Media companies could engage students of higher institutions of learning in sponsored and salaried researches involving verification of authenticity and credibility of digitized academic information. Such researches have been going on although their effectiveness still remains to be seen and appreciated by different players in the world of academia (Kafaiand Mitchel 1996).

Information and communication technology companies possess untold financial abilities to improve the welfare of authors who feel that digitization may rob them of their copyright protections if these changes are not accompanied by appropriate legislation. To some extent, notes Russow, 2003, major search engines possess powerful anti-plagiarism tools that ensure that no one publishes another person’s ideas as his own. However, making these efforts is one thing, winning the confidence of all educational stakeholders at the global level is another thing. Unless this is done, the academic community may continue to be reluctant to provide their written work to be digitized.


            Modern ICT technologies have made it possible for educational resources to be put in digital form that is versatile to use, easy to refer to and convenient to access. However, there are imbalances in usage that affect the professionals, the academic standards as well as student. These imbalances relate to accessibility to digital tools as well as the skills and expertise that come with them these tools.

            Apart from these imbalances, other challenges include negative economic impact, challenges of the authenticity of editorial content, environmental problems, and the need for corporate social responsibility. For these reasons, it is too early to think a world where the educated society is sustained solely by digitization.


Alhaji,I. 2007. Digitization of Past Question Papers, Dissertations, and Theses: A Case Study of 30 Nigerian University Libraries. The International Information & Library Review, 39(3), 228-246.

Banks, J.1994. An Introduction to Multicultural Education, Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon Inc.

Banks, K. 2006. Education for a Digital World: Advice, Guidelines and Effective Practice From Around the Globe. New York: Macmillan.

Collis, B. and J. Moonen. 2001. Flexible Learning in a Digital World: Experiences and Expectations. New York: Kogan Page Limited

Kafai, Y. and R. Mitchel (Eds.) 1996. Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Publishers.

Russow, L. 2003. Digitization of Education: A Panacea? Journal of Teaching in International Business, 14, (2) 1 – 11

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