Essay on iPads Over Papers and Pencils
Number of words: 3267
I pads/tablets are considered as the alternative to the use of paper and pencils. This study explores the disadvantages of the traditional form of learning and compares it with the modern form of learning. The research explores the flaws associated with the use of pencils and papers and how iPad and tablet offer remedies to these flaws. The research paper aims to analyze the views of students on the use of technology in learning. In addition, the research paper analyzes the future of education apps in colleges and tries to answer the question of whether these apps will replace manual textbooks in learning institutions.
There is increasing rate of the use of ipads and tablets among university students. The study tries to analyze the reasons behind this phenomenon by looking into the important features of tablets and iPads. The study employs survey questionnaires, observations, and literature to analyze the impact of technology in education.
Technology has affected almost every aspect of life. Education technology involves the use of computer hardware and software to facilitate the learning process. The use of technology in learning plays a critical role in providing new and innovative forms of support to students, teachers, and the supporting staff. Devices such as ipads/tablets simplify the learning process and make learning more broad.
Scholars are trying to predict the future of technology in learning. There are questions on whether the use of pencils and papers in colleges will end with time and be replaced with the use of ipads/tablets. This leads to further studies on the advantages and disadvantages of using IPads/tablets in colleges. Generally, technology has the power to transform the learning process by ushering in a new form of integrated teaching that connects lecturers and students.
College students are still divided on whether to continue using the traditional pencils and papers or shift to modern ipads/tablets. However, the benefits that come with the use of technology in education are hard to ignore. But even with such benefits, a significant number of college students are yet to embrace the use of ipads/tablets. These students seemingly prefer using traditional pens and papers.
Statement of the problem
A number of university students use papers and pencils while the rest use ipads/tablets. This raises questions on why all students cannot either use ipads/tablets or use pencils and paper. There is for instance the need to understand whether, in the coming years, university students are going to do away with papers and pencils and adopt the ipad/tablet technology. This raises further questions regarding the technological and traditional methods of learning. For instance, one would like to know what exactly are the special features contained in ipads/tablets as compared to the ones in paper and pencils and whether papers are a threat to the environment.
Technological features such as education apps cause concern among the researchers. There is a need to understand how these education apps have impacted education in colleges and their reliability in the learning process. Most specifically, researchers would want to know the future of papers and pencils in colleges and universities now that technology is gaining momentum. There is a need to understand whether the use of ipads/tablets in colleges should be mandated or whether students should be allowed to choose by themselves.
To address the main research questions objectives in this research. I used both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. I consulted both primary and secondary materials to get the information needed to address the research questions.
For the primary sources, I interviewed a number of respondents to get their views on the use of ipads/tablets. The survey questions mostly targeted students whom I felt were better suited to answer the survey questions. The study population consisted of University students as the research questions were mostly students based. A total of 113 sample sizes responded to the designed questionnaire survey. I kept the sample size at this level to make sure that I got optimum and reasonable responses from the target audience.
I made observations on a number of students to determine how they responded to the use of ipad/tablets over pencils and papers. I made about 10 specific observations on both ipad/tablet users and paper and pencil users. I did not inform the population that I was observing them. I however tried my best to ensure that I did not breach their privacy in the process. The primary data obtained from questionnaires proved to be more reliable as it was directly obtained from the students whom I felt were more affected by the technological development.
For the secondary data, I reviewed both reports and projects which had been previously documented. Most of the secondary materials analyzed were online prints but I restricted myself to recently printed materials that touched on the technology and its effects on society. I made use of different reputable articles and journals, magazines, newsletters, and specific websites. In doing this, however, I restricted myself to only peer-reviewed literature materials. I only concentrated on the information that addressed the key questions raised in this study.
Results and discussion
Will iPads/tablets ever be a replacement for pencil and paper at Kuwait University?
Based on the responses that I got, there is a high likelihood that Ipads/tablets will replace pencils and papers in the near future. By the time of conducting this research, 94% of the respondents agreed that they owned an ipad/laptop. This percentage was mostly undergraduates. This is an indication that the replacement of pencils and papers in the university is gradually taking place. Based on this trend, one can infer that in a few years to come, the percentage will increase and we will most likely witness a 100% turnout of undergraduate students with ipads/tablets.
Only 4% of the respondents said they had never used an ipad/tablet before. The survey questionnaire was closed and I did not get an explanation on the reasons behind this trend. By observation and inferences, however, there was a possibility that they were average income earners, and owning an ipad/tablet was difficult for them. This, however, does not mean that they would not use ipads/tablets if they had a chance.
53.8% of the respondents would rather use a pencil and a paper as opposed to 46.2% who would use an ipad/tablet if given a chance to choose between the two. From this result, it was observed that even though a majority of the students own ipads/tablets, a bigger percentage of them would not use them if given a chance. This was somehow challenging as it seemed to contradict the previous findings on the number of students with laptops and those who have used them before. Even though a marginally bigger percentage said they would rather use a pencil and a paper, the other percentage is so large to ignore. There could be a possibility that some of the students are using ipads/tablets because they have no choice. In defense of this, there could be a possibility that a good percentage of students consider technology as a complex phenomenon and are not ready to make an informed decision on the use of ipads/tablets.
What are the Ipads/tablets technology?
Tablets/ipads are considered as the symbols of modernity within the education system. Certain tablets/ipads provide learners with specific software applications and learning content. Such devices are equipped with specific education software and content depending on the levels of the targeted learners. IPad/tablet technology is the use of ipads and tablets to simplify complex operations. Such operations include writing, surfing the internet, editing, word search, and storing information. Tablets and Ipads are quite different from laptops and desktops. Pads are thin, foldable and have downloadable applications. These applications are most beneficial to students. A tablet is a small portable computing device with a touch screen display. The device is internet enabled and the user can always connect it to the internet to get the most out of it. A tablet is smaller than a notebook computer but relatively bigger than a smartphone. Some tablets are designed to be used by learners of all levels. Such tablets have light pens and weigh less than the average laptop. Tablet technology is unique in that the users do not need a keyboard to operate. They are operated by touching the screen in the command that the user wishes to execute. The Ipad/tablet technology offers a speedy way of performing functions. They do not take a long time to turn on, they provide extremely faster access to the internet, and are capable of running complicated programs such as Android and Microsoft windows.
Even though ipads and tablets are mostly mentioned alongside each other, their technology has some differences. For instance, whereas a tablet can open and operate many apps simultaneously, Ipad cannot open multiple apps at the same time. Ipads however have more features than those in tablets. In terms of the number of education apps a device can accommodate, Ipads have more of them than tablets.
Why use iPad/tablet technology?
The use of ipads/tablets technology is on the rise. Ipads and tablets usage especially in schools has proven to be effective. For teachers, an iPad/tablet streamlines their daily activities in schools. The devices offer a teaching aid by enabling faster access to student’s results.
In the case of students in Kuwait University, ipads and laptops have contributed a lot to their learning process. Tablets allow learners to explore the world from the comfort of their environment. The use of ipads/laptops has led to an increased engagement and participation in the learning process. They offer easy access to a variety of learning materials to both teachers and students. Learning through the use of technology is quite interesting for the students. The chances of getting bored in the learning process are minimal.
Students prefer to use ipads and tablets due to the devices’ ability to accommodate the learning style of every individual needs. These include students with disabilities and average classroom performers. Ipads and laptops come with special education features that take into account that the learning pace of every student is different (McNaughton and Light, 2013). Through such special features, students can for instance record classroom voice notes and listen to them later to get a better understanding of the concepts taught in class.
There are notable differences between the use of paper and pens and the use of ipads/tablets in the university. Ipads and tablets are designed in a way that addresses the disadvantage of pens and papers. For instance, as opposed to papers, there are advanced options in ipads and laptops that enable a student to search words in just a few seconds. Ipad/tablets reduce the number of materials a student need. Learners can use ipads and tablets to store their assignments for as long as possible. There is no guarantee that papers can store information for as long as ipads and tablets can do. Papers fade away with time, they can get lost or get destroyed in case of fire accidents. With ipads and tablets, information can be stored in an online database such that even if the gadget is destroyed, the information will still be accessible in its original state.
Why is paper bad for the environment?
From the survey, a larger percentage of the respondents agreed that the use of papers is not good for the environment. The survey was close headed and respondents had no option to explain why they thought the use of papers was a threat. From the literature, however, I gathered some reasons that could be behind the respondents’ feedback.
The negative effects of paper usage on the environment include deforestation, air pollution, and waste disposal problems. Paper alone accounts for almost 50% of all waste in the United States of America (Kempner, 2016). The biggest challenge is that instead of being reused, a huge number of papers end up being dumped in the environment making it unsafe for humans and other living organisms. More land will be needed to contain the paper waste. Areas with litter become unattractive to the human sight. These littered areas become a breeding place for bacteria which cause illness to humans. Consequently, tourists get discouraged from visiting such sites.
Deforestation is another major problem associated with the use of paper. Forests in the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. Forests are homes to hundreds of species that face the threat of extinction resulting from the continued cutting down of trees to manufacture papers. Scientists argue that the extinction of some species may cause an imbalance in the ecosystem and put the entire planet in danger.
What is the best Education apps for college students?
Ipads/tablets are among the most valuable tools for college students. The devices provide the students, lecturers, and the management with access to customized education apps for study organization, management, and planning. There are hundreds of educational apps available for college students. It is necessary that students chose the best app or apps that are relevant to their area and mode of study.
One of the best education apps for college students is the ‘Notability app’. Scholars recommend this app to students due to the app’s ability to annotate pdf, images, and GIFs. Notability app brainstorms ideas contained in PDF documents and makes easy notes for students (Romaniuk, 2018). This saves the learners the time required to read the entire document in search of the most relevant information. The apps let students manage their own lecturer’s notes and enable them to easily share such notes with other students.
‘Office Lens’ is another highly ranked education app. With this app, a student can make instant scans with their phone’s camera. The application identifies the dimensions of the document which a student intends to scan, crops it, and makes the document as neat as possible. The most important aspect of the ‘Office Lens’ app is its ability to turn images into word documents.
For college students, exam preparations are among the most stressful experiences. Proper Time management is a common challenge for the learners. ‘My study Life’ app addresses these time management and exam preparations challenges. The app makes it easier for students to synchronize their college life with their calendar dates. The process requires students to input all the important information concerning their current semester. After keying in the information, the app will send notifications and reminders about assignments, classes, and exams.
‘EasyBib’ app saves the students time and effort required to generate references and citations. The app is capable of reinforcing all the important referencing rules. In addition, ‘EasyBib’ can help perform other tasks such as book search, scanning study materials, and sharing citations.
What are the advantages of the iPads/tablet technology?
From the survey questionnaire, most students have adopted the use of technology in learning. 83.7% of the respondents said that they highly recommend the use of technology in learning and everyday activities. From these responses, I attempted to find out why majority of people would rather use ipads/tablets technology over papers and pencils.
Increased engagement and participation
In traditional class rooms, students with disabilities had difficulties in getting the special attention that they require from lecturers. Physically challenged students can engage in virtual learning by using ipads/tablets. Ipads/tablets have advanced interactive books and apps that help learners with anything they may need. Studying with the devices is quite enjoyable for the students. Ipads/tablets have the ability to grab student’s attention and keep them engaged throughout the session.
Provision of unlimited resources
With ipads/tablets, there is always an app for anything a student may need to aid his her learning process. There are a number of apps where students can search and find information of any kind just by a single click from the comfort of their desks. This is contrary to the traditional way where students were required to physically visit libraries to search for information.
A communication tool
Some university students are introverts. Such students are shy and may not contribute or ask questions in the traditional classrooms. However, using ipads/tablets helps these students to participate actively in class. Students can make comments during lectures through the platforms offered by ipads/tablets. In addition, shy students can communicate with the lecturer and other students through emails as opposed to having to speak in front of other students.
Saves paper and money
Every year, schools invest a huge amount of money on textbooks and other printed materials. The iPad/tablet technology can significantly reduce these costs. Students no longer have to worry about the fluctuations of textbook prices and having to deal with torn old books. Updating information in ipads/tablets is simple as opposed to updating and replacing old textbooks.
The use of technology in learning has a number of benefits. In colleges, for instance, Ipads/tablets have increased student’s participation and engagement in learning. Technology offers unlimited education resources to the students, saves money that would have been used to buy papers, and provides a powerful communication tool to students and teachers.
University students are gradually replacing the traditional pens and papers with ipads/tablets. This can be attributed to the benefits brought about by technological development. As opposed to pens and papers, ipads/tablets provide students with special learning software depending on individual’s needs.
A number of education apps have been developed over time. These apps are designed to help students in organizing, managing, and planning their studies. The education apps are customized according to the needs and requirements of learners. This makes it easier for physically challenged students to keep at pace with the rest of the students. The best education apps include the notability app, Office Lens and EasyBib.
From this research, a higher number of university students prefer the use of new technology in education as opposed to the use of papers and pencils. The adverse effects of papers on the environment have forced people to seek an alternative. The use of ipads/laptops eliminates the potential risks associated with the use of papers. Such risks include deforestation and air pollution.
Kempner, D., 2016. Impacts of Paper on the Environment. [online] Community.aiim.org. Available at: <https://community.aiim.org/blogs/dennis-kempner/2016/12/06/impacts-of-paper-on-the-environment#:~:text=Paper%20manufacturing%20used%20up%20to,acid%20rain%20and%20greenhouse%20gases.> [Accessed 3 February 2021].
McNaughton, D. and Light, J., 2013. The iPad and Mobile Technology Revolution: Benefits and Challenges for Individuals who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 29(2), pp.107-116.
Romaniuk, S., 2018. 25 Important Apps And Digital Learning Tools For University Students – eLearning Industry. [online] eLearning Industry. Available at: <https://elearningindustry.com/25-digital-learning-tools-apps-university-students> [Accessed 3 February 2021].