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The Norseman

The Norseman

Paper beats rock

Technology not always answer to learning

Ever since 2020, schoolwork and homework have become more and more computer-based, oriented, and centered. In classes such as computer science, I’m perfectly fine with all of our work being done online. However, constantly having so many online assignments in every class, especially in math, does not feel ideal.

It is much more difficult to make notes on online questions. While there is often some form of online annotating or note-making tool available, it is never the same as making a note with a pencil or pen. It is significantly more difficult to make freeform notes on online questions and they are more difficult to look back on to check your answers.

It is also easier to make mistakes on a computer. Online, it is so easy to accidentally choose an answer you didn’t mean to – one small misclick and the whole question counts for nothing. On paper, these mistakes are much easier to avoid since it takes a conscious effort to manually circle your answer.

I’m okay with a moderate amount of work being done on computers, but so much of our work is becoming digitized that it almost feels like we don’t need to be in the classroom at all. Sometimes it feels like, even though I may have gone to all of my classes, I have been trapped on my keyboard and screen all day.

Working online can cause me not to think through my answers as much as when I have a physical pile of papers to complete. It can sometimes be difficult to adjust to the fact that it is so much more important to get my answers correct on an all-important STAAR test when I’m taking it on the same computer that I use for trivial Kahoot games.

It is also much easier to get distracted when I am working on a computer. When I’m working on paper, there isn’t an internet full of things trying to distract me by catering to my every whim, wonder, and daydream.

During COVID we had to use computers. There was no other option. But now there is no good reason that we cannot keep the good parts of computer work and get rid of the rest.

I don’t dislike all computer work. It has its place and can open possibilities, make things easier, and be a great tool. But a balance between computers and paper provides variety in work and creates the best experience overall.

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