Technology in the classroom still fills an unsteady niche


Ever since the introduction of eAchieve, the system has been getting better. We’ve gone from barely using computers in class to regularly doing assignments on sites like Moodle or Google Classroom. The system has been greatly improved, but there’s still plenty of progress to be made.

I’m sick of flipping between textbooks and my computer. I’m sick of having to do assignments by hand that could be done much more efficiently on the computer. I’m sick of being handicapped by the current system. My classes that center almost entirely around online assignments or work that doesn’t require a folder chock-full of papers are usually classes that I enjoy the most. These classes aren’t treated like online classes either; they have the same group activities and work that you’d expect, just in a format that I prefer.

It appears that there’s an indecisiveness in the system where teachers simply aren’t sure whether they want to use paper or digital, so the result is a mess of both that makes it more difficult for both parties. Google Classroom, for example, has been a wonderful resource and tool for me– I would not complain one bit if that system was used for all of my assignments. I’ve grown accustomed to finishing my AP Environmental Science review guides online and turning them in on the same platform. I’ve grown to love how easy it is to open up a PDF and read through a chapter instead of flipping through my book to find the right page number.

However, not every subject can work perfectly online. One glaring weak point in the field of online education is math, as there seems to be no “good” way to do math online. WebWorks has taught me this much. This remains one situation where pen and paper beat out digital, at least until a better digital solution is created. The sites used to view documents such as online textbooks often feel and appear outdated, slow, and inefficient. I’ve grown irritated with my online Algebra 2 book freezing and failing to load, but the convenience of it being online keeps me coming back. If there were simply better sites to view textbooks online, this problem would quickly dissipate.

To be fair, I must give the school credit for making the integration of technology and the web into classrooms more of a priority. Compared to a mere two years ago, using a laptop to finish up my homework is infinitely easier. All that’s left to do is clear this indecisiveness and either commit to digital or pen and paper without the awkward imbalance.