“This sudden shift back to paper assignments is inconvenient for students”


Technology Trumps Paper: A laptop lies next to an open book. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Riley Shankman, Columnist

During the months spent in hybrid learning, everyone relied on their Chromebooks and resources like Zoom, Edpuzzles, Flipgrids, or Google Classroom as new ways to learn from home. As we have shifted back to in-person learning, teachers have cut out these resources in favor of the “old school,” paper, and pen.

After growing comfortable with using technology for school, it was a big shift to move back to paper assignments, such as tests and homework, in most of my classes, especially after having all my assignments in Google Classroom. Now, by the end of the day, my sore hands are stained with blue ink and graphite. 

This sudden shift back to paper assignments is inconvenient for students and is a waste of the resources South has to offer. 

Every time I unzip my backpack, I am met with an assortment of loose papers from various classes . Keeping track of paper assignments is nearly impossible, especially when they will be needed for finals. There are applications made to store assignments, so your backpack won’t overflow with paper. 

One of the benefits of attending South is the wide variety of technology resources offered to its students. Teachers have access to a variety of websites from Screencastify to Kahoot, that can reform instruction in class. Through these websites, students are able to learn in new innovative ways. This is demonstrated through websites like Pear Deck, where teachers can share their presentations with students, who are able to interact within slides. However, these websites are rarely used within the classroom which is a misuse of the technology that South has to offer. 

 After a difficult year, a benefit is how much we have learned so much about instructional-based technology, and how it has the potential to remodel the way we learn. Many classes could benefit from the use of technology within their assignments. Ideally, classes use the materials that best suit students, Cameron Muir, associate principal for curriculum and instruction said. Additionally, Muir said South’s use of technology should have increased from two years ago.  

“Compared to two years ago, I’m hoping we’re using more technology when it’s appropriate,” Muir said. “It was one of the pieces that we hoped we would turn and look back on as a positive from a very frustrating year.”

An argument can be made that after exclusively using technology for learning, a hiatus from technology in school is needed. Technology can have negative effects on learning such as lower attention spans, said Saro Mohammed of the Brookings Institute in the article “Is technology good or bad for learning?”. However, technology offers students flexibility and fluidity, because of the wide range of resources available. When properly applied within classes technology can have positive effects on students in creating new experiences and ways to grasp the material. 

Technology is a resource that has become more commonly used. It was not long ago that students carried heaping binders with crumpled papers spilling out. 

Today, students could only carry their computers. It’s time to move on from the old school paper, and pen and move on to new school technology.