There are advantages and disadvantages to both mediums of presenting information in the classroom, reflecting the multitude of variables involved in delivering varied curriculum topics to students of different ages and ability levels.
Textbooks are available for reference and review whenever and wherever needed, are generally researched and presented as authoritative and reliable sources of information within their subject area(s), and provide a structure and organization in the presentation of information that many educators and students find helpful in building and reinforcing concepts and applications. However, students accustomed to highly-interactive video games and special effects-filled activities may find textbooks "boring." Content presented in textbooks will not be appropriate for the reading level of all students within a classroom, meaning that comprehension, application and retention of information will be impacted.
Software programs frequently are programmed to adjust presentation speed and level of information in response to student input, allowing for immediate differentiation - possibly the best reason for using software in the classroom. Most students are highly motivated by and may learn more through the active engagement involved in working with software-based activities. In order to make that level of involvement available, however, classrooms need to have hardware available to every student, involving substantial investment in equipment, infrastructure, and space. Teachers need familiarity with software programs and training to understand how to best utilize software programs as another tool available to them.