In a world of technology, we still need pen and paper

So I know I hadn’t talked about a recent case I’ve had in a long time, but here it goes.


I find it absolutely awful that the education system is more of less 90% dependent on technology these days. And by awful I mean, unbeneficial. What happened to pen and paper, books, art projects with paint? I know they still are used, but not to the extent to which they were even just 5 years ago.

I had a kid the other day who (after his parents had been gone for a while, and finally came back) didn’t bring his iPad to school. Now I feel like as a student myself, it would be very frustrating for me to forget my laptop especially when I need it in class.

But in this situation, it was a fourth grader, who already doesn’t have a lot of friends, and has issues in his home life, so I would hope school could be a constant in his life.

I walked in to his classroom to find him sitting under the teacher’s desk, crying. It took me a bit but I got him to tell me why he was so upset. To find out the class was doing an assignment on their iPad, to which he could not attend to, due to not having his.
Now I understand it is upsetting, especially for when kids want to do what they see others doing, and they want to follow the rules (or well, most of them do). I asked him if he wanted to go do something at his desk, and then looked towards the teacher, who couldn’t look more annoyed that he was disturbing the class.
Most of the other kids were so busy on their iPad assignment I don’t think they were honestly paying much attention to him.

Now my point wasn’t to bring up the fact that this kid shows behaviors unfit for a classroom, it was the fact that because he didn’t have his laptop, he was stuck.
The teacher wasn’t offering to give him an alternative assignment, or let him join on with another student. The teacher just let him sit there and cry. I understood he’s had behaviors in the classroom before, but in the end, I dont find this “ignoring the problem” stance to be beneficial, since he was in school and not learning as much as he could be.

As a student myself, I have had similar times, but I’ve ben able to join in with someone else. I find this to be called flexibility (sarcasm, everyone).

I wish in a world of such demand for technology, we could still offer our kids a pen and paper and tell them, “here’s a similar assignment, but you will have to do the one on the iPad at a later date,” and not just leave them to struggle.

When I had seen this kid earlier in the day to check in, he and I just drew on some paper, and that really seemed to ground him.
Later on, he was made fun of by others for his Halloween costume, and instead of getting confrontational, he sought me out! I was so proud, that even after only meeting this kid really quickly once before that day, that he would seek me out, in order to talk and vent. I sent him back to class with some paper to draw on because I found this to be a great outlet source for him.

So pen and paper are not dead, they sometimes just need to be utilized more often than they currently are in this technological world.




One thought on “In a world of technology, we still need pen and paper

  1. At first, I thought I could digitize all of my research notes. Get them all on my laptop or my device and back them up when necessary. On the cusp of graduating with my doctorate, if there’s any piece of advice I could leave for any other grad students that enter when I leave, it would be this: GET IT IN PHYSICAL WRITING. IT IS EASIER TO ACCESS AND WRITE AND SCRIBBLE IN A NOTEBOOK THAN A LAPTOP OR A TABLET DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT THINK.

    (I believe that an electronic device actually encourages organization, but pen and paper encourages creatives by removing some of the more restrictive aspects of organization)


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