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Why laptops and iPads have failed to succeed in the K-12 education system

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

In recent years, laptops such as Chromebooks and Macbooks as well as iPads have been introduced into K-12 classrooms as a means to enhance education through technology. However, despite their promise, these digital devices have not succeeded in replacing traditional paper-based materials in the classroom. Teachers are finding that paper-based materials are more effective in teaching students and prefer using them over laptops and iPads. In this essay, we will explore why laptops and iPads have failed to succeed in the K-12 education system and why teachers are returning to paper-based materials for teaching.

One of the problems associated with using laptops in classrooms is the lack of eye contact between teachers and students. When students are using laptops, they often become engrossed in what they are doing on the screen, and as a result, they may not pay attention to the teacher. This can lead to a lack of interaction and engagement between the teacher and students, which can impact the quality of learning. Additionally, teachers may find it difficult to gauge student understanding or provide personalized feedback when students are not paying attention or are not making eye contact. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and hinder the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process.

Another reason laptops and iPads have failed to succeed in the K-12 education system is that they can be a distraction for students. These devices can be used for non-educational purposes, such as playing games or browsing social media. This can distract students from learning and prevent them from paying attention to what is happening in the classroom. Furthermore, the use of these devices can also contribute to a lack of focus and attention span in students.

Finally, teachers are returning to paper-based materials for teaching because they have proven to be more effective in teaching students. Paper-based materials offer several advantages over laptops and iPads, such as being more reliable, easier to use, and more engaging for students. Research has shown that students retain information better when they write notes by hand, rather than typing them on a laptop or iPad. Additionally, paper-based materials can be more tactile and interactive, allowing students to engage with the material in a more hands-on way.

Laptops and iPads have failed to succeed in the K-12 education system for several reasons. Often these devices are a distraction for students and have not proven to be as effective in teaching as paper-based materials. Teachers dislike to lack of eye contact and communication that is involved in this way of learning. As a result, many teachers are returning to traditional paper-based materials for teaching, which offer several advantages over digital devices. While technology can be an excellent tool for education, it is important to recognize that it is not always the best solution, and that traditional teaching methods can still be effective in educating students.


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