The End of the Paper Trail: Transition to Online Classwork


Junior Grace Fors is one of the many hunchbacks of North Atlanta, an epidemic caused by the impacts of COVID-19 on traditional learning.

Today the hallowed halls of North Atlanta are filled with classrooms that resonate to the sound of students clicking anyway on their electronics, but it was not always this way. Once there was a time when computers sat covered in dust in classroom corners, used once in a blue moon. This was the case even after the world had seemingly gone digital in the early 2000s. The current students of North Atlanta have been part of the transition from paper to online within school. Of course, once in a while, you’ll peek in a classroom to see pupils feverishly writing away on lined paper, but more often you will find them hunched over their screens. 

Students recall the time without computers fondly even though, for most of them, it was quite a while ago that they actually used pen and paper. Though as most students hadn’t even begun middle school when the technology wave hit this may be a case of nostalgia for a time they can’t remember. When asked, the majority seemed to remember little but said they missed lighter backpacks. Despite this it seems many prefer the current technology era within schools. “Honestly I wouldn’t go back. My handwriting is barely legible,” said Junior Adian Smith.

The issue of handwriting is merely one issue attached to screen time. With the number of hours students spend on their electronics, their health is seemingly declining. There is an increase in physical and mental issues that directly correlate. “My eyesight has gone downhill,” said Junior Kate Tully, “I scheduled an optometrist appointment for next week”.

Maybe glasses will be the next trend? As Tully is not the only one who is starting to squint. Many negatives are attached to this switch but there are a few positives. The lives of many trees have been spared due to reduced paper usage in schools. Self-proclaimed environmentalist Tully said, “I love trees and will sacrifice going on a screen for them”. 

Sacrifice for the screen seems to be the new motto of students. The path from paper to screen has been anything but seamless. But the clickity-clack of students’ computer keys keeps them too preoccupied to notice. A noise that for the foreseeable future will dominate North Atlanta.