In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been whether it’s helpful or hurtful to student’s ability to learn.

On the one hand, some argue that technology provides a whole new way for students to connect and expand their learning. Thanks to the internet being at student’s fingertips, the students have more control of their own learning, which builds excitement.  From this perspective, educators and students, both, have more resources and material with less limitations.  

On the other hand, however, others argue that technology is taking the place of the pencil and paper activities that reassures a student’s creativity. One article  on this issue said, “Technology should not be used to do what can be done without it.”  According to this view, it’s more beneficial for a student to draw a picture on a piece of paper than on an app. Another article says, that it is important to incorporate both paper and electronics into an activity; this way students can plan their ideas on paper before transforming them onto the computer. 

In sum then, the issue is whether it’s important to have the connection, excitement and resources in a classroom that is provided by technology or if technology is taking away a student’s ability to be creative.

My own view is that technology is extremely important to have available to students in a classroom, but I also think it’s important to incorporate paper and pencil activities, as well.  Though I concede that technology creates more materials many educators wouldn’t have without it, I still maintain that paper worksheets have benefits as well.  For example, a student who drew a picture on a piece of paper is able to take that paper and hang it on the refrigerator at home, but a student who’s picture was drawn on an app cannot hang the iPad on the refrigerator. Although some might object that paper worksheets create nothing but repetition, I would reply that paper is easily accessible and a quicker way to make and share information.  

This issue is important because technology becomes more and more important with each generation. It’s up to schools and educators to decide how much technology they want to incorporate in their classrooms without losing that traditional and effective way of teaching with paper and a pencil.

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