Paper to Screens


Jonathan Galdamez, Staff Reporter

A high school student knows that their backpacks can get heavy with too many textbooks, binders, and notebooks. How convenient would it be to have all your school books, notes, assignments stored on an iPad or tablet?   Maybe it is time for Birmingham to make the change from paper to screens.

Textbooks are drags. Some are heavy, some are old, some are in terrible condition and carrying them to class and home every day can be a hassle. Some textbooks are flat out boring. We need something to re-ignite the educational spark in every student, and make the classroom and learning more personal and fun. An iPad or tablet may be the answer.

You would have your books, notes, and assignments a touch away. Students would have their teachers’ lessons with them at all times. No more forgetting to do your homework, because assignments at your fingertips. Textbooks and reading books are on you at all times. Long-term assignments can be worked on during school, as apps for typing papers or editing projects are easily available. The classroom would become more interactive; students and teachers would be connected like never before.

As great as iPads sound though, we must look at some of the cons from making the change from paper to screens. With our current policy of “out of sight, out of mind,” some students are still extremely distracted by their electronics, and an iPad may be a greater distraction.  Because students have a hard time maintaining a book or even returning it at the end of the year, is the school really ready to give 3,000 plus teenagers a $500 piece of equipment? Or maybe only certain students receive them, and who and what decides that? Plus we cannot forget the purchasing of software and apps for each tablet (which certain classes may require  while others do not). The school would also need to update the wifi network and remove certain restrictions. The administration would need to take much into consideration before making such a weighty decision.

I, along with many other students, specifically remember being told that Birmingham students were going to receive iPads or tablets. It seems like such a long time ago, maybe because we have not heard much since then. Is it time to bring this topic back up with our administration? Is it time for Birmingham to make the change from paper to screens?