Technology & Paper: I Need Both

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My family and friends know of my love of technology. Most of my hobbies and creative outlets utilize my laptop, digital camera, smart phone, tablet, or e-reader. However, some of my best work is done old school – written on paper.

I recently read an article in Inc. called Paper Chase by Saki Knafo. Although we live in a digital world, many organizations are pushing their staff to use paper. This is nothing new to preschool workers. We use paper (of all colors) on a daily basis.

I’m a big proponent of technology being utilized in preschool classrooms. Technology offers experiences and learning opportunities that would otherwise not be possible. However, there is still  debate among professionals staunchly positioned for or against technology tools. Despite the differences, the people who are most successful in rising above this argument are those who take the time to learn about the tool, then decide how the tools can be used in developmentally appropriate ways.

However, just because we use technology doesn’t mean it’s a replacement. It simply works along side other tools in a teacher’s tool belt. Paper is one these tools. It doesn’t need a battery or reception. There is no character limit. You don’t need a login or require an account. There are other benefits as well:

“The brain reacts differently – research says better – when you use paper and not a computer. Studies show that student’s performance on tests improves when they take notes on paper instead of laptops, and kids who learn to write by hand are better at recognizing letters than those who learn to write by typing.” – Saki Knafo

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Just a few notebooks I have on me daily. Many more in storage.

I have always had a journal since late in high school and reading this article was even more convicting that I have established a good habit. Over the decades, ideas, brainstorming, sketches, journaling, reflecting and processing events can all be found amongst my many notebooks. These are also a mixture of professional and personal notes throughout the pages.

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Over 3 years of notes on workshops, conferences, and ideas.

To keep my thoughts and notes somewhat organized, I did keep a separate journal for my preschool material. I made sure it was something durable and could withstand the wear and tear of a preschool classroom, which is why I chose this one. I especially liked this notebook because it was organized, large, and spiral bound (so I fold over and write while standing).

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Notes from a National Head Start Conference in Dallas, TX.

I get a new notebook every new school year (or at least every year). That along with calendar or monthly planner. As I plan for the new year, I have my laptop in front of me, my laptop mouse to the right, and my notebook to the left… and large cup of coffee in my hand.

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