As with any highly contended issue, the argument of online versus traditional education has merits on both sides. So what is really the best option for your child’s education? Well, it’s probably best to take a look at the pros and cons of online education and to decide for yourself whether a paperless classroom is right for your son or daughter. After all, every student has different needs, and since we live in an age where it’s possible to use take advantage of digital technology for the purpose of education as well as traditional classroom setups, it’s good to know the advantages and disadvantages of both when you’re deciding on one of the many Gwinnett County private schools your child could attend.
Pros of a Paperless Classroom
Just like its name suggests, a paperless classroom is more environmentally friendly because it does not use up so much superfluous material. Textbooks (which are often out of date in traditional classrooms), notebooks, pens, pencils, and all of the trappings of the traditional classroom are essentially just a bunch of extra waste, and they often don’t even get used effectively enough for them to be worth their while.
In addition to the environmental benefits, there are also cost benefits to going paperless. It may seem counterintuitive, since technology costs money, but when you add up the cost of all of those notebooks and textbooks that become useless so quickly, having each student use one single device for a plethora of activities is actually a huge money saver.
Speaking of a plethora of activities, that’s where another benefit of paperless classrooms comes into play. There are a variety of online and downloadable learning games and apps, not to mention the software for creating presentations, and watching videos that allow students to learn in an enriched digital environment.
The technology in a paperless classroom allows students to work at their own pace, which is much different from traditional classrooms, where students are all expected to be absorbing information from the teacher at the same rate.
Because students in a paperless classroom are using up to date technology to learn, they become far more digitally literate than their peers in traditional classrooms.
Cons of a Paperless Classroom
The long term effects of using digital technology as frequently as children do today have not yet been studied, so it’s hard to know whether or not there could be health hazards associated with extended periods of screen time.
Learning to write by hand is important for the development of fine motor skills, so some degree of physical writing is still important to maintain in education. Children in traditional or blended classrooms typically outrank children in completely paperless classrooms in terms of penmanship.
Although technology is advancing, it remains important for children to have basic library research skills and to be able to use ‘old-fashioned’ technologies, even if they are going out of style. Real books don’t have a Ctrl+F function, and not everything has been put online yet.