The Pandemic and Paper

Has the pandemic influenced a move away from paper-based schooling?

Aidan O'Brien ('22)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, for two years students and teachers alike have been drastically affected by the involuntary switch from in-person to online learning, which for many schools has meant a switch from paper to online platforms like Google Classroom.

But with the pandemic slowly but surely flattening out, we have seen a return to in-person school across the country. With this comes a question for teachers of whether or not to continue with a Google Classroom-based learning structure, or return back to former ways of teaching through paper.

When asked the question of whether she used paper or Google Classroom more before the pandemic, Ms. Bailey of the History Department said, “I used paper more…I did use Google Classroom, but I didn’t use it as much as I did during the pandemic.” Ms. Bailey is one  teacher who had been using Google Classroom as a tool for online learning pre-COVID. When asked her preference between paper and Classroom,  Ms. Bailey said, “I think it depends. I prefer paper for things like reading assignments, or things where students are working on a document analysis. I think it’s better to do that with paper in front of you, but if it’s something like a quiz where I want to see if people did the reading, I think it’s better and easier to keep track of (on Google Classroom).”

For the majority of teachers at RMHS, Google Classroom is being used as a partner to paper. But some students would like to change that, as Ben Regazini (‘22) stated, “I think Google Classroom has brought a lot of stress to students since assignments are being made due at midnight, so a lot of the time kids will be doing homework til the late hours of the night. I think paper makes it so school stays in the building itself and doesn’t stay on our minds all hours of the day.”

Students and staff alike will have to see what the future holds for the classroom of tomorrow.