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Computer vs. paper: Asking students which they prefer to use

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Amanda Saladino, Greenlawn

Classes today are starting to use computers for teaching and doing work and there have been tools released to help the learning experience. Using a computer can be more convenient when working or just learning a topic. Both forms of writing have their pros and cons.

I had 70 students participate in a survey in our school. Almost 90 percent of the students prefer to use a computer, backing it up with how it can be more reliable and easier to work with. The other 10 percent said there are many negatives associated with the computer.

However, more students believe that the computer is more distracting. With the last question being which do they feel to be more efficient and reliable, they favored the computer yet again.

The computer is very versatile and has much more to offer than paper does, but with the large expanse of the internet, it results in more distractions. It is much harder to prevent students from straying away from the task at hand and to keep them on it.

Many websites can bring something new to the classroom. Teachers can have a more firm grip of the class and what they do. There are many ways to correct and proof work. If someone were to stay on task, then the computer is easier and quicker to write.

As with the computer, paper has many flaws. With the freedom that paper gives over the computer come more ways to slack on work. Doodling is more apparent and harder to prevent. Paper is manual work, meaning the biggest mistake is usually leaving the work at home. Paper is not the best choice if you want to protect the Earth.

Each option has its ups and downs, but both are good choices. As long as the workflow is controlled, then there wouldn’t be any cons to either. It is up to the student to either work or slack off.


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