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Paperless Classrooms

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Heavy backpacks, forgetting homework in your locker and spending tremendous amounts of money on your school supplies. All traditional problems that every student faces. If you could somehow stop those problems from affecting your school life, would you? Paperless classrooms could solve the problem. School districts around the world are turning to technology as a replacement of traditional learning tools in order to teach. Schools go as far as spending millions of dollars to give the districts the devices they need. Going paperless is a new and improved way to give children the proper education that they need.

Going paperless in classrooms have distinct advantages for both the school districts and the students attending the schools. First, when using certain laptops for school use instead of traditional supplies, the cost can come out to be much cheaper than other alternatives. For many schools, paper textbooks can cost anywhere from eighty to two hundred dollars each. If you add up all of the subjects needing textbooks and the number of students in those classrooms, those prices become astronomically high. As an alternative, laptops or tablets can be priced with a cost as low as one hundred and seventy nine dollars. The laptops and tablets can also provide all of the textbooks digitally at no cost and serve the students for multiple years. A cheap alternative, the Chromebook, showed its popularity in the year 2013. About eighty five percent of its United States sales went to the educational market alone. Not only is going paperless cost effective, it’s popular too. Another advantage to going paperless in the classroom is to give students a better work field and help get better grades. When allowing students to work on the computer, the teachers get more chances to work one-on-one with their students during class and it helps the students understand the curriculum better and become more independent. In this “technology era” students are capable to do so much more than ever before. One middle school teacher, Patricia Inghram, has her students going as far as talking to experts at the Edgar Allan Poe museum via Skype. Doing activities such as virtually visiting museums, allow the students to see and learn more than they could have ever done before and enrich their learning experience. One supporter of technology in the classroom is Jonathan De Grande, Vlerick’s business school’s program manager. He states, “Lectures are enriched with interactive material and video in a digital carrier that is compact and cost-effective.” The next advantage to going paperless is that the online textbooks are more environmentally friendly and gives the students better information. Schools such as Archbishop Stepinac High School has online textbooks in which students are given access to every single textbook in the school, including separate grade levels. The textbooks are also constantly updated and has information added to it to give the students accurate and up to date information. In conclusion, using technology can help students succeed in the classroom and benefit the schools.

While there are countless benefits to a paperless classroom, there are still some who oppose the idea. First of all, opposers say that the technology given to students is most likely to be misused and mishandled. Some schools in Los Angeles had issues with their students getting around the school restrictions on technology. They could easily spend their class time surfing the web and going on social media sites. The next issue facing paperless classrooms is the fact that not all families have Wifi or proper connection in schools. Students such as tenth grader Eli Servin add that at home, they have no internet connection unless they decide to connect to hotspots or go to local fast food restaurants that have free Wifi. While these problems do exist and cannot be brushed aside, they can be fixed and improved easily enough. Instead of constantly worrying about what their students are doing on the internet, consequences can be made for the misuse of the technology. Patricia Inghram faces these problems by having her kids sign a tech oath. With the signing of the oath, misuse of the technology is prevented along with the students knowing that they will face consequences, should they break the rules. Also, in order to fix the problem concerning the Wifi issue, Wifi routers are becoming fairly inexpensive and it is becoming possible to give houses the Wifi they need. At some stores, Wifi routers can be priced at a cost as low as twenty dollars. Along with the devices that have decreased in cost, the expenses are fairly low.  Also, schools are now more willing to help their students have the tools they need in order to succeed. They will go to great lengths to help the students. Altogether, technology can have its downside, but with a little work it can be improved and perfected.

To go paperless means to start a new and better era of classroom learning for the generations to come. Some may argue that using technology in the classroom could have a severe outcome. On the other hand, if we keep working and keep making changes, a new and better time for learning could be quickly on its way. A single person cannot make this change. In order to make our learning experience better and impactful, we must speak up and talk to our school officials. Change will not come if there is no one to come out and say that there are better possibilities. Talk to your school board today to bring a new era of classroom learning experiences. 




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