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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Pros and Cons About Digital School by Maelynn, 7th Grade

Schools all over are starting to go digital; however, this leads to a heated debate about whether or not schools should have their students using computers. Some see them as a useful tool to make learning fun and easy and others see them as a big distractor. Here are 10 pros and cons about students using computers. 

PROS-

  • New skills: Because of being at a digital school, students learn how to type. Not only will it help them now, it will help them in the future. Most people nowadays type up their resumes and other reports. Also, tons of jobs now use technology. Learning how to work and run a computer could be proven helpful later on. With technology popping up more and more, digital schools are providing students with a skill early. 
  • Research is easier: Most teachers eventually give out a research project for their students to complete. If those students go to a digital school, research will be easier for them. All they have to do is search something up. If they’re writing an argumentative essay, they can easily find evidence to support different claims because their laptops provide quick, easy access. They’re capable of browsing the internet to help them with school and expand their branch of knowledge. 
  • Establishes responsibility: Like most electronic devices, you have to plug laptops in to charge them. At a digital school, students can establish a new form of responsibility by having to plug in their laptop each day. As a student, I’ve witnessed other students not being able to do certain things because their battery died. Charging one’s laptop is similar to walking one’s dog–you’ve got to do it or there can be consequences. 
  • Typing is faster: Typing is a lot faster than writing. If you’re typing an essay, report, or something else, typing is way faster because you aren’t writing something word for word. Since it’s faster, students will be able to get more time for their own time like hanging out with family and friends. More free time also means less time on your laptop which is good because of the screen time at school already. 
  • Makes learning fun: As a student, I know technology helps make learning more fun. Teachers like using games to test their students’ knowledge (like Kahoot, Quizizz, Gimkit). Certain games also allow teams letting students interact with each other. Students can be very competitive, so this is a good way for them to blow off steam, have fun, and learn all at the same time. 

CONS-

  • Big distractor: Laptops can be super distracting. As a student, I’ve witnessed kids playing games while the teacher is talking. Instead of doing work, students decide to play games first and assignments later. Games such as Minecraft and websites like CoolMathGames.com tend to be what students mainly play. Since students have tons of websites at their fingertips, it can be hard to not get distracted. Also, games can be distracting to surrounding students who have a view of the screen. Now the student playing the game and the other students are focusing on the laptop distracted from learning. All of this can lead to bad habits. 
  • Can be unreliable: Every once in a while, wifi can stop temporarily or certain systems shut down. But what happens if things start shutting down at a digital school? Teachers may not be prepared for an unexpected internet issue and this leads to them spending the period figuring out a plan. Shut downs hurt students, too. With the wifi down, they can’t work on or submit any assignments. This usually means students have to now do it for homework, biting away form their time. Being a student, I’ve witnessed systems not working during end-of-year exams, too. This particular scenario affects much of the school and those unlucky students get their exams rescheduled. 
  • Harmful effects: Students who go to digital schools spend a lot of time on electronics. Too much screen time can make it harder for the body to relax, according to research. Furthermore, most students continue to go on their electronics after school. Too much screen time can potentially be harmful. Students should try to spend less time on electronics and more time doing other activities. 
  • Easier to cheat: With laptops, students have access to lots of websites at their finger tips. With this in mind, what’s to stop a student from cheating? If a teacher assigns an essay, summary, or another type of report, it can be easy for students to search it up and copy and paste. Students can also go on certain apps to get answers for their math homework and other subjects. 
  • Writing benefits more: Research shows that writing benefits students more than typing. When you physically write information down, you get a stronger understanding than you do with typing. Research shows that writing is better than typing because typing is faster. Since writing is slower, you process information better. Also, when you write, you get more creative because you aren’t searching anything up for ideas. 

Thank you Maelynn for your analysis of digital schools!

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