Head to Head: Technology in the Classroom

Stick to the old fashioned way or accept technology in classrooms?

November 9, 2022

The world is evolving and advancing, especially in technology. It’s only right that education and classroom methods follow suit. More and more, teachers utilize cellphones and computers in their students’ activities. Grades, projects and even classwork submissions can all be accessed online. However, is this all a good thing?

News & Features Editor Vikram Sambasivan and staff writer Malia Rodriguez debate the advantages and disadvantages of a technologically advanced class.

Classes Being More Digital Just Makes Things Easier


Photo Malia Rodriguez

Aarna Saklaan (’26) uses her phone to do homework.

We can all remember a time before canvas, when every assignment was done on paper and there were turn-in-bins at the front of classes. An effect of the COVID-19 virus has been the elimination of the majority of those bins. Canvas is now the new norm for a lot of schools and because of this change, the way classes work has changed for the better. With digital innovation, school can become much easier and far more streamlined.

Often times when I don’t submit work, it’s because I forget when its due so a tool like canvas (which displays due dates on the assignment) can be very useful. This also applies to things like tests and quizzes and helps prevent people from walking into a class not knowing they have a quiz. Furthermore, this adds a certain level of credibility because canvas has a to-do list automatically made so it’s much harder to accidentally forget your homework.

Another good thing about canvas is that it helps to keep student on-top of their work. If you’ve ever missed a lot of school at once, you know it can be very stressful to try to make that up. You either have to ask for the work in advance or try to catch up afterwards, both of which are very inconvenient. If classes have all their assignments on canvas, it eliminates this because now students can know exactly what they’re missing and plan their time out accordingly.

Some people might say otherwise and bring up that fact that if somebody is absent or sick, they most likely wouldn’t want to do their work while they’re out. All of that is totally valid, however, I think it’s better that they can at least know what they have to do and have the recourses to do it rather than having to ask for all of the work the day they come back with no idea what to expect.

Canvas also allows you to see your grades updated in real time. You can see exactly what you get on a test or an assignment and your overall grade for that class. It also allows you to use a feature called “predicted grades” where you can see how a certain grade will affect your overall average in a certain class. This way there is no more guess work involved with estimating your final grades and it can help speed up the grading process, allowing you to see what you got earlier.

Additionally, when teachers reject using canvas it can make things a whole lot harder. When I have 5 classes that use canvas and one that doesn’t it causes a lot of unnecessary stress, and some things are just easier when they’re done digitally. Everyone has a phone to submit assignments, but a lot of people don’t have printers. I know that some people might prefer paper assignments, but overall, I believe that the benefits of online work outpace the downsides.

Overall, a lot of the benefits that canvas provides comes down to its ability to speed things up and when you think about it, this makes sense. In every other facet of our lives, technology has been created to provide convenience, so why shouldn’t we adapt to a more tech-friendly way of running schools?

Leave a Comment

More Technology May Not Always be the Best Thing


Photo Vikram Sambasivan

Sophie Gomez (’24) working on an online Advanced Placement United States History assignment while listening to music.

The world is getting smaller. Technology has allowed for increased globalization, for the connecting of peoples and cultures which is unprecedented in the known history of humanity. But too much of anything is never any good.

With the incorporation of tools, such as Canvas, into our middle and high school education systems, students and teachers have become more accessible. Now this may sound like a good thing, but in actuality, it is suffocating. 

So many modern companies preach a corporate anthem of work-life balance, yet those same values don’t seem to trickle down into our school systems. Tools such as Canvas are allowing teachers to assign students work at all times, even if they don’t tell the student about said assignment in person. You cannot leave school anymore. Even if you just decide to turn off your phone to focus on other things, you risk missing an assignment. Not only does such lack of separation turn modern students into laborers rather than leaders, it has detrimental effects on student stress levels.

“Studies have shown that 75% of high school students and 50% of middle school students are stressed because of their school work,” Teenager Paige Venable said in a “Teen Takes” article. 

The incorporation of so much technology into modern education has also lead to increased screen time for students. School becoming a constant presence in the life of every student means that screens also become a constant presence, or at least more than they already were. 

We are on our phones or our devices constantly. Out of fun, many times, but also out of necessity. We are constantly scrolling, checking texts, snapping people, refreshing our email (when we’re feeling business-like) and much more. Now, schools add on to the list of things that we do on our phones with virtual assignments. Sure, it makes it more convenient…having all of our assignments in one place, but our eyes might disagree with prioritizing convenience over health. 

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “…teens spend up to 9 hours [using digital devices]. While screens can entertain, teach and keep children occupied, too much use may lead to problems…Too much screen time may lead to: sleep problems, lower grades in school…, less time with family and friends…, weight problems…, poor self-image and body image issues and fear of missing out.”

Despite the negative health effects of increased screen times, many students have had to consolidate all of their assignments, note-taking and other school-related items for the sake of efficiency and overall convenience. However, what many students don’t take into consideration is the negative effect of this increased technological presence on academic performance in comparison to more traditional methods. 

A 2021 study from the University of Tokyo “…revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later.”

Setting aside the adverse physical and mental effects, technology isn’t for everyone…quite literally. Technology is all about inclusion. It has given people who would not be considered successful or even useful in other fields an area in which they can survive, thrive and dominate. So, it only serves as a source of irony that the increase in the incorporation of technology in the classroom has caused for more students to be excluded. 

If a student is of low socioeconomic status and cannot afford the technology which is suddenly a necessity to academic success, that student is effectively being punished and penalized for having a lack of privilege. Instead of leveling the playing field, technology left many people at a severe disadvantage which wasn’t as prominent before the excessive incorporation of technology into the classroom. 

According to the American University School of Education, “About 17 percent of students are unable to complete their homework due to their limited access to the internet. Additionally, 50 percent of low-income families and 42 percent of families of color don’t have the technology required for online education, according to the Education Trust.”

Now, I will concede, the incorporation of technology in the classroom isn’t a bad thing. It allows students to see models and images of things which we cannot conceptualize in our heads, access to unprecedented amounts of information, to complete labs which no ordinary high school could perform with the limitations of public schools and it allows students to pursue opportunities which just weren’t there with education before heavy incorporation of technology. I don’t have a problem with any of this. I only have a problem, when the technology becomes overbearing, bordering on the oppressive. 

I love technology just as much as the next guy. I regularly hit an average of 18 hours of screen time on my phone and laptop, and I’m the person who will brag about that. I love seeing technology in the classroom because it provides a learning experience which is unprecedented in the scope of humanity. However, when I cannot leave school at school, when I cannot separate myself from the stresses of school because they come home with me everyday in my pocket, I cannot condone it. I will not sacrifice my freedom and peace of mind (not to mention physical health and academic performance) just because classes being more digital just makes things easier. The world is getting smaller, and it’s beginning to suffocate me.

Leave a Comment

Knight Writers • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Donate to Knight Writers
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Knight Writers' Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *