Using paper, pencil better for retaining information than solely using chromebooks

Marley Queen, Staff Writer


With the global pandemic that we are in that altered many educational practices, Tallmadge City Schools decided to have high school students go one to one with chromebooks. While these chromebooks make it so teachers do not have to use paper for assignments, it is a different way of learning. The thinking behind using chromebooks is that kids will have access to many websites that could help the learning process and when the students are at home they have access to their teachers for help and can complete remote work. 

There are many things that are flawed in the thinking of using chromebooks for everything. We students should also use paper for assignments so we can learn more efficiently. For example, the wifi could go out at school and no one would be able to do work, a website could crash, and most importantly chromebooks can lower kids’ grades because a lot of kids learn and retain information better writing things down using paper. 

I believe that teachers should still give out paper assignments because it helps me learn better and comprehend what I am learning because I am writing down the information rather than typing it. The chromebooks have some benefits like getting in touch with teachers on online days, writing longer essays and papers quicker, and utliizing many websites that teachers use for online activities. Despite these benefits, overall, the benefit of chromebooks should not completely eliminate the use of paper and pen. 

Freshman Sydney Becks said, “I learn better on paper because it’s easier for me to show my work in math, and it makes me feel more organized and in control. I kind of like the chromebooks but sometimes it’s stressful because it doesn’t work or it’s hard to figure stuff out.”

“I like [the chromebooks] because it’s easy to communicate with the teachers,” senior Anna Siesel said. “I learn better on paper because writing down my notes helps me retain information better than typing.” Both of these students believe that there are some benefits to the chromebooks, but they learn better when using paper rather than chromebooks.

In the article “Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read” it said, “People remember: 70 percent of what they SAY and WRITE…10 percent of what they READ…30 percent of what they SEE.” This quote is saying that people understand 70% of what they write and then say out loud. People remember 10% of what they read and 30% of what they see, which on the chromebooks is all students do because they can not physically write things down. Sometimes students just copy and paste things instead of writing the information again.

“I am a big fan of paper and writing. I feel like when one writes, one’s brain is more engaged than when one types,” Psychology teacher Misty Craig said. “Using paper, we take out the paper, draw and file it in a binder. It’s way easier, less time consuming, and the students learned the exact same thing.” 

Craig explains that when someone writes things down on paper, it helps them remember the information for a later date, which would be a test, other activities, or even just everyday life.

If students feel like writing down information helps them learn better, they should ask their teacher to make a copy of study guides and/or other assignments with a lot of information on it so they can earn the best grade possible. Students could also ask teachers to email students the assignment so they can print it at home or anywhere else accessible. Teachers should be able to do what is best for student learning and that means finding a balance between both techniques.