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Paper: Pal or Pointless?

By Rachel Jacob and Julia Kim

Paper Education, a new and upcoming tutoring program for students, became available this past March. With opportunities from live-chat tutoring with subject-matter experts to feedback on written assignments, this app takes a new approach to learning at NHP.

When interviewed about the app, some teachers expressed excitement regarding the possibility of helping some students who find it easier to ask for help anonymously.

“I think it will help answer some questions students have when their teacher might not be available. I think it will help build their confidence, alleviate stress and anxiety,” English teacher Ms. Caruso said.

Other teachers are concerned with the fact that it runs all day, stating the app might encourage students to do homework late hours into the night.

Artwork by Suha Tasfia

The question still remains of Paper tutoring's effectiveness as students and staff adjust to the addition.

“My bigger concern is that students are running themselves too thin, and flexible timeframes are not always a good thing,” social studies teacher Ms. Madigan said. “I don’t think it’s healthy for a 15-year-old to be working on homework, especially challenging assignments that require the support of a tutor, in the middle of the night.”

Many teachers are pleased by the idea that children could be helped during after-school hours, rather than using alternative methods like looking up answers on the internet.

“From what I observed, the Paper tutors are not going to give students answers immediately. Instead, they will probe students' knowledge on the question and try to guide them to the answer,” math teacher Mr. Romano said.

However, some of the student body are unsure of the benefits of Paper, as they are concerned about how useful the app really is.

“I think Paper is not as great as it may seem. Although it may help some kids, I ultimately think that most of the tutors on the app aren’t really helping students and giving answers that are just copied from the internet,” freshman Theodora Doukas said.

“Paper is just full of unqualified ‘tutors’ looking up my simple questions on Google and copying and pasting it back to me,” sophomore Isabelle Do said. “Not only did it take 20 hours, it was just wrong. Not my cup of tea.”

Many students have tried using the app to do homework, but claim the answers are copied from online. This frustrates many students as they have easy access to the internet, making tutors’ responses useless. Additionally, given its slow responses, some find it futile in aiding them during a time crunch. Overall, the consensus for many students is that Paper, while a good concept, lacks the effectiveness of in-person tutoring.


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