Paper vs. Technology in a Classroom


Photo / Christian Quinones

A student is shown utilizing their Schoology account to work quickly and efficiently in class.

In the recent years, technology has arrived and developed to be the biggest and best it has ever been. According to ProCon, the textbook industry is worth $11 billion, but the tablet industry is worth $18 billion. Schools are still trying to figure out if it would be more beneficial to switch entirely to technology, but there are both positives and negatives to this solution. Technology has, without a doubt, changed the way that students learn. Technology has made learning quicker, easier, and, in some cases, cheaper.

Technology as a whole is faster and more efficient than paper, so it is no surprise that it helps students learn faster. According to ProCon, students can reach the learning objective 30-80% faster. Many could argue that technology already negatively affects mental health with students at home, so technology in the classroom doesn’t help this case.

Technology in the classroom is cheaper than paper when the structure is being put into place. In many schools, devices are being handed out to every student to ensure that they have access to the internet so they can follow along in school. This is obviously very expensive. According to Educational Leadership, $56 billion are spent on education technology. That’s about $400 spent on each student for technology per year.

But, in some ways, using technology can be cheaper than textbooks. According to the School Library Journal, the average price of a K-12 print textbook is around $70 compared to a $45-$55 digital textbook.

The devices handed to students for class can hold anywhere from 8 to 64 gigabytes of storage. This helps students keep track of all of their classwork, including not having to carry around heavy textbooks.

An issue in many schools is distractions due to technology. During classroom activities, such as lectures, students can check their email, play games, or pay attention to apps instead of paying attention to the teacher.

Nonetheless, several helpful apps are useful to students and teachers alike. Schoology is used to keep track of assignments, access assignments, and submit assignments, Also, it is possible to communicate with teachers and other students for help with school. The program is more effective than paper because paper doesn’t have the features associated with Schoology.

Technology is not perfect, but it does improve learning in schools and helps out teachers. Paper is better in some ways, but the cons of technology in schools overshadow the cons of learning on paper. There can be a balance between the two in a classroom and learning will still be accomplished.