Opinion: It’s Time to Split With Paper in Classrooms

From chalkboards to whiteboards to the Promethean boards used today, schools have always looked for the newest technology to upgrade the learning experience in classrooms. With the influx of technology, paper assignments have begun to appear less and less. With all this amazing technology at our fingertips and even more to come, it is time to completely move on.

In general, paper assignments can be quite a hassle. Trees get cut down to make paper and you know that story. But, flimsy pieces of paper are very easy to get lost by students. Pen marks get messy when mistakes are made, and at some point, it gets hard to completely erase pencil lines. This also makes problems for teachers when they need to grade. Some students’ handwriting can be hard to read, making it difficult for everyone to get assignments done on time.

With the addition of Chromebooks in the majority of classes, it is no longer necessary to take out a notebook and pencil to write a paper. Simply hop on a Google Doc with no worry of your pencil breaking or running out of lead. 

Our Chromebooks offer several applications that can be utilized in every class. From using an online thesaurus to find synonyms to using myMCPS Portal instead of printing out grade sheets, Chrome alone opens up doors for what we can begin to replace from paper. Almost anything can be searched online, making it quicker and easier for assignments to be completed. 

Even past Chromebooks, many schools are moving towards iPads and other tablets for a more optimized educational experience. Websites turn into apps and communication becomes even easier. Tablets are also easier to use for most students, optimizing how efficiently they can learn. Considering you can open a “piece of paper” online, the purpose of it in a physical school setting is declining.

Of course, students that do not have access to a computer or the internet would still need to have paper assignments to be able to get their work done at home; we cannot exclude them. But, in technology-filled schools, there is little reason to keep the paper coming.

The change would be gradual, and staff and students would have to be educated on all the new applications being introduced to the classroom. But, it would be completely worth it! With short-term and long-term rewards, paper should be on its way out of our classrooms.