Are School Issued Laptops Necessary?


Canvas and school-issued laptops are well known for making schoolwork accessible during Covid, but now that we are back full time, is it necessary? Teachers have higher expectations and students are now required to have more work completed on sick days and after school hours. Because of this, many students are against using Canvas and school-issued laptops in addition to in-person class.

 In order to get a full understanding of this topic, it is important to look at the research. In relation to school issued electronics (computers, tablets, etc.) an article from The Washington Post states, “A 2015 report found that countries making large investments in technology showed no improvements on student performance in reading, math or science.” 

According to the Prince William Times, in April of 2020, the school division spent $6.4 million to purchase 15,500 computers. These computers were given to students who needed them. This spending has only gone up now that every student is issued a laptop rather than just the students who don’t have access to one at home. 

A study from SciencesPo found that, “Students who take notes on computers instead of paper tend to give lower-quality answers to questions asking to apply the concepts covered in class.”

 This is important, considering many teachers only provide digital notes. This could potentially lead to lack of understanding and lower test scores within our school. 


Although many news outlets believe that laptops have negatively affected students, the Public-School Review disagrees. They mention that many students come from different financial backgrounds and that, “Having equitable access to computer technology equalizes learning in any diverse classroom.”

They also mention that “Textbooks are expensive and often outdated, but with laptops, students can engage in up-to-date research through the internet.”

Creating an environment where each student has access to the same materials should be a priority for schools. The addition of school-issued laptops makes this possible.


While research is important, it is also necessary to include teacher perspective on this issue and many teachers prefer this combination of online and in-person schooling. 


 Ms. Weathersbee, a science teacher at Patriot, says she believes “Canvas helps keep students organized.” She goes on to say, “I have found that students are more likely to forget to turn in paper assignments than they are to turn in online assignments.”


Thousands of schools around the country have sent out school-issued laptops to combine online and in-school learning. This new form of learning has had a massive impact on students’ ability to succeed. Riya Manocha, ’25, says she feels “Teachers expect more because of school laptops.” and that she, “Prefers paper schoolwork.”


 It seems that students and teachers are split on this issue. Studies have shown that several factors go into whether school issued laptops are beneficial to students or not, but for now students must learn to adapt to this combination of online and in-person learning.