Friday, January 29, 2016

Why we dislike online textbooks

Lindsay Park
Staff Writer

What happened to the good old days of paper and ink? I don’t understand when having a book with pages and a hardcover became such a hassle. The solution for this suspected problem is an online or downloaded textbook.
 In the beginning of the year instead of taking five to ten minutes to hand out textbooks, teachers now have to take the entire period, or more, to ensure students have access to their books. Whether books are online with special logins, or if they are downloaded onto their 1:1 device, setting them up is a more time consuming, confusing process.
 Once your book is all set up, you are ready to do your homework. That is unless you are unable to connect to the internet. Though this may not be a problem for everyone, some students, like me, whose house has a terrible Wi-Fi signal, are faced with quite the issue.
 I enjoy the privacy of doing my homework in a quiet place, but the only place I receive Wi-Fi signal is in my family room, where the television is constantly on and conversation never stops.   
 This problem would be easily solved by having a textbook, the old fashioned kind. This is also the solution for people who never charge their devices or who lose their chargers. Without power a downloaded textbook no longer has any use.
 By trying to create an easier way for students to learn using online textbooks, schools have unintentionally added extra stress to an already dreaded task.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The truth about useless classes in high school

Jackie Gouris
A&E Editor

As a senior, I have come to the realization that there are two types of classes you will have in high school. There are classes where you learn, and classes where you learn something.
 You will undoubtedly come across a class in high school where you sit down every day, pay attention, take notes, and as soon as you take that final in June every piece of information you crammed inside your head the night before is completely gone. And it’s not your fault, students, because that is what you have been conditioned to do. Although you are berated for cramming right before the tests, there are no real consequences for not knowing the information longterm. Very rarely are you really forced to retain knowledge, because the first month of school is reserved for relearning all of the information that melted out of your brain in the heat of the summer. So, in student’s minds, there is no reason to retain this knowledge over a long period of time, especially when the information is useless beyond the classroom.
 Yes, learning to learn is extremely important, but within that process, the things students learn can sometimes be just plain boring. No educator wants to hear that, but to students at least, that is the truth.
 The other classes the ones where you learn something are classes that you will remember for the rest of your life. They are classes where the teacher pushed you, probably further than you would have liked, and you came out on the other side actually having retained real knowledge that you can take with you for the rest of your life. These lessons are never taught, at least not directly. They are learned through observation and a teacher’s ability to communicate to the student in a way that causes that eureka! moment. Classes like these are not limited to a certain subject. Any class can be related to the real world, and that is all that students want out of a class, really. Not by showing that one day an obscure piece of information or formula may be useful, but how some life lesson can be used in a real-life situation.