Last updated on: 2/7/2017 | Author:

Daniel T. Willingham, PhD Biography

Professor of Psychology at University of Virginia
Con to the question "Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools?"

“Sometimes this technology [tablet devices] fails, leaving teachers to scramble for a backup plan. Some students do not have access to tablets outside of school. Disadvantaged students may not have Internet connectivity at home. And most problematic, studies show that kids typically understand less and take longer when they are reading from electronic textbooks as compared with printed materials.

This difference in comprehension and reading time is not huge, but it is pretty consistent, which probably explains why most students say they dislike electronic textbooks. Even students experienced in using digital technologies prefer paper.”

“Are Tablet Devices a Good Teaching Tool?” Scientific American website (accessed Jan. 25, 2017)

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member, National Board for Education Sciences, Jan. 6, 2017-present
  • Member, International Advisory Board for K-12 Curriculum Reform in Vietnam, World Bank, 2014-present
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Core Knowledge Foundation, 2006-present
  • Professor, University of Virginia, 2004-present
  • Member, Advisory Board, National Council on Teacher Quality, 2007-2013
  • Associate Professor, University of Virginia, 1998-2004
  • Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, 1992-1998
  • Assistant Professor, Williams College, 1990-1992
  • PhD, Cognitive Psychology, Harvard University, 1990
  • BA, with honors, Psychology, Duke University, 1983
  • Twitter handle: @DTWillingham
  • Recipient, Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine for When Can You Trust the Experts?, 2013
  • Recipient, All-University Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Virginia, 1999 and 2011
  • Recipient, Best Learned Article by the Association of Educational Publishers for Why Don’t Students Like School?, 2009
  • Recipient, Outstanding Professor Award, University of Virginia, 1996 and 2000
  • Member, Board of Directors, International Mind, Brain, & Education Society, 2009-2012
  • Member, Editorial Board, Npj Science of Learning, 2015-present
  • Member, Editorial Board, AERA Open, 2014-present
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2004-2005, 2007-2010
  • Member, Editorial Board, Memory & Cognition, 2005-2008
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2000-2008
  • Member, Editorial Board, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 2001-2006
  • Member, Editorial Board, Neuropsychology, 1997-2001
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools?