Computers are being used in education more and more every day, which may be reducing the use of traditional pen and paper. Children are now seen as a new generation of ‘digital natives’, meaning they have been bought up during the age of digital technology. They are familiar with technology from an early age.
Advantages of technology:
- Information on computers is constantly updated, whereas textbooks become outdated.
- Computers enable you to edit and share work easily.
- Computers for all children in schools will cost a lot of money but in the long run it saves spending money on updating text books each year.
- Typing is faster than handwriting.
- Typed documents look more professional than handwritten.
- Work can be easily saved on computers, whereas paper and work books can get lost.
- Children have been bought up in the era of iPhones and iPads, so use technology in their everyday lives.
- Easier for teachers to mark work.
- Handwriting is something every pupil should be able to do well.
- Long periods of time looking at a screen can be bad for your eyes.
- Pen and paper is less distracting, even if you remove all the apps, they could still be distracted by the internet.
- If children are using tools such as spell check, their spelling will not improve.
- Computers can be unreliable – if internet stops working, or someone’s computer breaks down…
Although there are many advantages of using computers, I believe that children should still use pen and paper. Children will not learn to handwrite and spell properly if they are constantly using technology. Research indicates that children learn quicker through the use of pen and paper. In a psychological science paper posted in April, the researchers claim that note – taking with a pen, rather than a laptop or iPad, gives students a better grasp of the subject. Students concentrate less when typing instead of writing, as tools such as spell check are available, meaning spelling will not improve. Experts claim the move from pen and paper to computers could damage a child’s brain development. Students’ motor and visual skills, eye – to – hand co – ordination, spatial awareness and cognitive function is improved when learning to handwrite. Research also indicates that writing with pen and paper improves the retention of information and the flow of ideas.
Learning to use a computer and typing are necessary skills that pupils should learn, although I don’t think it should completely take over from using pen and paper. Children benefit more from handwriting rather than typing, as more attention is paid as they write, making it easier to be remembered later. Of course, there are benefits of using computers, such as typing is faster and it is easier to edit and share work, but the learning and developmental benefits of using pen and paper are much more important for children. As handwritten exams are still used today, students who cannot write properly are at a severe disadvantage. This is why it is so important that handwriting is still a main focus in schools.
Children today use technology in their day – to – day lives, with 86% of households in Great Britain having internet access in 2015. A majority of children will go home from schools and play on some form of technology. If students were then to come to school and use technology all day, spending too much time on technology could affect things such as eyesight and sleep. I attended a school where every child was given an iPad. I found that instead of looking at work on the iPads, the majority of students were playing games. Even when the school was able to remove the apps, games and other distractions are still available on the internet. Students will always find another way of being distracted when using computers or iPads, no matter how many blocks schools put on.
In conclusion, there needs to be a balance of computers and pen and paper in schools. It make sense for computers to be used for research and information, as it costs a lot of money to constantly buy new updated textbooks each year. Handwriting is important for children’s cognitive development and is a skill needed throughout life. Handwriting is definitely still important, even in this digital age.