The lasting efficiency and effectiveness of analog tools

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The lasting efficiency and effectiveness of analog tools

Nov 18, 2022

An argument that is constantly being made these days is how the education system needs to change. We see change in just about every other institution around the country: politics, work force, practicing religions, economics, family dynamics, and others – the education system has yet to be changed. However, while I do agree with the argument that the way school is run these days should change and acclimate with our generation and society, I believe that one thing throughout the years has stayed consistent and that is the efficiency and effectiveness of analog tools. Due to research and personal experience, there is a place for analog tools despite our world being so digitally dependent.

In the 21st century, it is easier and more accessible than ever to rely on technology for note taking, studying, working, socializing, and a plethora of other things. It has undoubtedly propelled our society for the better. However, now that many students and adults rely heavily on their digital tools, work and outcomes look slightly different. Looking into analog tools, there are many benefits from students to adults when using them versus a digital tool. Starting off with the basic fact that analog tools truly do make you slow down: you write slower than you can type, you wait longer for film than an iphone camera, etc. With that being said, because they force you to physically slow down, it subsequently forces your mind to slow down. This leads to a higher focus level which allows your brain to better intake and process all the information. All of these factors form a domino effect because one thing leads to another and leads to another. Continuing this domino effect, the analog tools truly have a better connection with your brain because once your mind processes the information at a slower rate, it allows for your brian to better retain information given.

Speaking from personal experience, although it is more work, I prefer analog tools over digital ones. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely take advantage of technology – it is so convenient when the professor is lecturing too fast, information is so easily accessible if I am confused, makes work go by quicker, and surely keeps me entertained. It 100% has its perks, however, I have found that when I use analog tools, such as paper and a pencil, I end up learning the information much better and am able to retain much easier. A prime example of this from my life can be from my senior year of high school when I was in physics. The first unit I took notes on my ipad and attempted to do all my learning digitally; this unfortunately resulted in me getting a C+ on my first exam. Following that grade, I knew I had to change up my learning and studying habits so that is when I decided to ditch my ipad and solely rely on my pencil and notebook. For the next unit exam, I actually ended up acing it which showed me truly how efficient analog tools are. Moving forward, in classes where I can’t quite grasp the concepts, I transition to a notebook and pencils because I know the positive learning effects it has on my brain.

In conclusion, living in the 21st century has an endless amount of technological benefits – ones that society 100 years ago could never foresee. With all of this advancements comes change as our world evolves. But one thing that stays constant is the power of analog tools and that is why no matter how digitally reliant society becomes, there will always be a place for analog tools.


Coco Crandall is an Integrated Communications Marketing and Entrepreneurship major.

Prompt: Is there a place for analog tools in today's digital environment? Would you ever consider using a paper to do list or taking notes in a spiral notebook?

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