Redmond Proficiency Academy, along with many other schools as of late, has moved on to a more technologically based way of learning. Utilizing programs like Google Drive and Alma, schools are finding new ways for teachers and students to interact and get work done in the classroom, with students using Google Docs to write their essays and teachers using Google Classroom to keep students up to date with the current projects. But the question arises: do these new additions actually help students get their work done, or just get in the way of productivity?
Let’s start with how the students view and use the technological privileges offered at RPA. Based off interviews with students, most students find Google Classroom’s accessibility very useful. They enjoy the extra organization it gives them in their already cluttered lives. Students also really appreciate the ability to type up an essay online through Google Docs for the convenience and help of features such as Spell-Check. As for Alma, the feedback from students has not been as positive. Though useful in certain ways, it leaves much to be desired. “Get rid of Alma,” says Azriel Fall, RPA junior. “It’s just too confusing, so I end up just not using it that often.” says Sage Walden, RPA sophomore. The ability to acquire your grades or your transcript at a moment's notice would be nice, if you could easily navigate through the confusing tab system or the almost non-existent mobile compatibility. The lacking mobile user interface is what really hinders it. Seeing as almost every student likes to use their smartphone for anything and everything, it just removes another level of convenience.
Even though some of these programs have their issues (*cough* *cough* Alma), the places where these programs seem to shine is the availability, accessibility, and the organization these programs bring to students’ already loaded school day. Students enjoy the ease of typing an essay and turning it in online, basically excluding the need for paper at all. In total these programs really help students get work done with efficiency and ease, and are a welcomed addition to the average student’s school days.