A paperless school faces issues


Shuhan Sun

Math and other worksheet driven classes go virtual during district paperless campaign

Shuhan Sun, Managing Editor

On the first day of school, students were surprised that most of the work was still in the form of online assignments because the school was directed by the district to save paper and as a result- time and money, principal Antonio Acuna said. While the idea is good, a paperless school is not the way to go. 

Since the start of the paperless school, there have been less group projects. When students come into the classroom, teachers spend a few minutes explaining assignments, then students get to work on their devices. Many students still don’t know some of their classmates’ names. Group projects help students develop connections with their peers, and learn to communicate better. According to TheOdyssey on Jan 31 2017, “Technology has influenced people to stop communicating with the individuals around them.” 

Communication is crucial in the workplace, and students are not able to get enough skills to prepare for the future. Interaction facilitates like group projects or partner work help students feel involved, but with schools going paperless and relying on technology, it has been harder to get group projects going that aren’t just Google Slide presentations.

A major reason to avoid going paperless is the number of hours students spend staring at a computer screen. When virtual learning was in place, students spent hours online. Now that they’re back to in-person learning, it would be best to return to how things were before the pandemic when teachers would issue worksheets everyday, and students used composition notebooks. Due to virtual learning, some students had to get new glasses because their eyesight was affected negatively by the hours looking at the screen. Although school officials like principal Acuna stated that computers won’t damage eyes, according to Harvard Health on Feb 11, 2011, it can create eye strain which can cause headaches, and lethargy that discourages students from getting up and exercising. It wouldn’t be healthy for students to spend the school day looking at a computer and hours at home to complete assignments as well. 

Lack of focus is also a disadvantage to a school going paperless. Students can get easily distracted online, whether it is through video games, or messaging a friend. Although the district blocked most gaming and social media sites from the wifi, proxy servers or personal hotspots still provide a barrier. Some students play games during teacher instruction, or during classwork time. Principal Acuna said teachers have different ways to monitor students, but that hasn’t been effective as teachers cannot monitor 30 students as they instruct or help individuals. 

While cost and environmental effects are beneficial to going paperless, it does not outweigh the harms. With the pandemic and changing dynamics of the world, communication skills are crucial for the future. Going paperless is a temporary solution that may lead to more issues in the long run.