Time after time we hear everywhere comments from grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters saying that ‘things were so much different when we were in school at your age, and now a days kids are just staring at screens and pushing buttons and now family time includes having your phone with you at all times and checking on your ‘tweets’’. After learning more about some of the ways the school system plans on incorporating technology in the classroom, I am starting to sound a little bit like those before me.
We discussed briefly in class a little bit about LPS wanting to convert over to paperless in the next few years, this was honestly the first time I’ve heard anything about paperless classrooms. After reading and hearing many other students’ responses to the subject, we can see that there are many pros and cons to having a paperless classroom. Everyone has a different view, some saying that we need to prepare children for the world they’re going to grow up in and how they’re going to need to be technologically savvy, other’s point out the important fact that we as a world need to be more eco-friendly.
I still stand by my opinion on the matter, in which I would not want to be a paperless classroom teacher which I originally said in my black board post. Yes, there are many pros to the situation such as: teaching children at an early age how to use technology more efficiently, having access to all homework, textbooks and lectures via the internet and being more eco-friendly. But ultimately I couldn’t imagine staring at a computer screen all day 5 days a week for what could be long periods of time.
I used to work in an Outbound calling center, when I lived in Omaha. I worked for an insurance company and I sat in front of a huge computer screen staring at the computer while helping customers via headset. By the end of my shift, my eyes hurt terribly and I always got headaches during my shift that would linger for hours after I got off. After work when it came time to write papers or do homework I wouldn’t even want to think about turning on my laptop I would prefer looking at a textbook.
Even as I’m writing my paper, I have my screen brightness all the way down because if I stare at any type of screen for long periods of time I get headaches especially if the brightness is way up. My peer reviewer also mentioned this is why she printed off my paper even though I sent it to her via email because she too cannot stare at computers for long periods of time. According to WebMD. com 50-90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). According to WebMD, CVS is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.
When you look at a book and then look up to look around the room that you’re in the lighting is the same most likely throughout that room. Now when you look at a computer screen and then look around the room, the lighting is significantly different and your eyes have to constantly readjust to the new lighting, which can cause strain on your eyes. At this time there is no evidence on long-term damage that staring at a computer too long can do but it can still cause eye irritation, blurred or double vision, headaches and neck or back pain.
Also, keep in mind that the letters on a screen are not as sharp as letters printed on a piece of paper. When documents are scanned out of original prints and placed on the computer to read, there is always the risk that the scanner may not pick up on everything. I have witnessed this several times when I was in school and including in my past workplace. Where as if you have the original document right in front of you on paper, you can always go back and reread it to find the error.
A paperless classroom as my peer reviewer mentioned could also bring a lot of technical difficulties along with it. You must make sure all devices use the same software or else you run into the dilemma where you saved something under a different type of file, for example and older version of the software and now it won’t pull up on your classroom computer. I’ve witnessed and heard stories from professors how sometimes they can’t get videos or files to pop up for their lecture so they have to resort to talking about something else for the rest of class time.
There have been many times I’ve been sitting in class and for some reason the professor’s power point, video, document or website they’re trying to use for the lecture won’t pull up and 10-15 minutes of class time is used just on them trying to figure out what’s going wrong. Technology just like everything else does have its flaws and if the server or power is going out what do we have to rely on? Even at my old job everything was on the computer so if the servers went down (which happened several times) we simply just got to go home.
A question to keep in mind that can really hurt a student’s academic career is what if there is a malfunction and all of a sudden all of a student’s files are erased? Paper, pencil and textbooks are always there even if the internet is down and there’s no need to wait for everything to load. All you need to do is give a page number, make sure your pencil is sharpened and you’re good to go. Rather than dealing with passwords, waiting for programs to pull up, screens to refresh and turning on and off devices.
In a study conducted by Dr. Virginia Berniger, who studies reading and writing systems, found that students actually wrote more, faster and more complete sentences when they used a pen rather than a keyboard. She states that the difference is that you use your hands to form the letters so your brain is more engaged in the process. Where typing you just push identical looking keys and the letters are punched out for you. I notice when I write papers on the computers I have many more typos then when I write.
I feel like technology is an amazing tool but I feel like especially at the elementary level it should be implemented in the curriculum but not completely take away paper. Practicing your hand writing and spelling skills’ is something that is very important especially in elementary schools. About 80% of things you type on now days have an auto-correct function. While yes, you can always turn off the auto-correct function but while you actually write things down all of your attention is on that piece of paper versus the computer which as so many other things going around on it.
I’m sure most of us have seen those pictures online with the Iphone or smartphone autocorrect mistakes when sending messages, well Ipads use the same technology. A friend of mine goes to a small school in western Nebraska and they actually got rid of textbooks this year and gave everyone an Ipad. He says it’s a great tool to have but when the internet goes down at home and he has an assignment online that’s due that next morning before school, it causes lots of frustration because he wishes that he just had all of the information in front of him.
Since he does go to a smaller school, the day when the servers went down and they were having errors they simply just sent everyone home. In a smaller town that’s much easier to do but in a large inner city school with thousands of students, how are you going to continue the school day? Another thing that I really think is beneficial to me is when I get productive feedback on papers and assignments. When teachers put marks on your paper’s and high light them I feel that it’s so much easier to interpret the problem areas and what you need to work on.
Sure on a computer you can make corrections but I feel as though that might be more time consuming for the teacher rather than just having a red pen there and handy and ready to go. I do feel as though we do need to move forward in education as they talk about in ‘A nation at risk’ but I feel as though if we’re going to move towards a paperless classroom parents and guardians need to be also informed about the technology implemented and how they can help their children succeed in school. My mother knows nothing about computers, the only thing she can really do is turn it on and off and check her bank account online.
If I try telling her that my assignments are all online and I need help finding resources to do my homework she’s not going to be able to help me. In the other perspective I’m sure she can help me look things up in textbooks. It can be an educational opportunity for both the student and the parent in the sense of going paperless they get to see all of the advantages of technology and how to use them with their child. I don’t think technology is evil in fact I use it every day! I just feel as though paper allows us to learn and see things from a whole different perspective than we do on computer screens or smart boards.
The main concern which I have tried to address is what happens when paper is all that a child can take home with them and they don’t have access to the technology needed to keep up in the classroom at home? Displaying artwork, letters and stories written by hand around the room has always been something that has been used especially in elementary classrooms because it shows children’s craftiness. I will admit growing up the best thing to see when you’re in 5th grades is to see a TV set up in front of the classroom on the little push carts because you know you get to watch some type of video in place of having to listen to your teacher.
Call me lame but if students are always used to seeing things via projection etc. what is going to make anything special in the classroom when it comes to technology if they’re used to using it all the time? I think we have to face the fact that technology is becoming more and more prominent in our ever changing world. It is important that people know how to use it properly and we should also become more eco-friendly and try to find ways to reduce costs which is the main aim of a paperless classroom.
Times are changing and every generation has something new and their styles of learning are much different. We just have to make sure that we incorporate old ways for styles of teaching as well. 5) Do you think you would want to work with the same peers as peer reviewers again? If not, offer a brief explanation. yes 6) Rate both of your peer reviewers on the following scale: 0-didn’t do anything; 1-tried to help, but didn’t really; 2-quite helpful. Write a sentence or two to explain each of your ratings. 2 She didn’t just pay attention to grammar and punctuation but also key ideas.
Courtney from Study Moose
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