With new technology constantly being added to our daily school lives, online SSL forms are an interesting new feature that has become available to students. A simple website, simpleserve.co, allows students to electronically complete and submit their SSL forms. While this website has yet to be implemented on a large scale, it has the potential to be an extremely beneficial addition to the school system.
Montgomery County Public Schools requires at least 75 student service learning hours for high school graduation. Common opportunities for earning these hours come from volunteering at community fairs or school events, which often are only 3-4 hours long. In addition, many students often go above and beyond this requirement, earning hundreds of hours before their senior year.
All of these hours result in numerous SSL forms being submitted each year. The process of printing out a form, completing it by hand, and finding time to bring it to the counselor’s office is not only tedious but also leaves room for error. With the deadline of each semester being very strict and tight, the simple forgetfulness of a student can result in them losing credit for all of their hard work. I have had the experience of bringing my form to school only to forget tonot have the chance to turn it in before the deadline, resulting in me losing those hours.
The implementation of online SSL forms could easily eliminate these issues; submitting the forms is as easy as the click of a button. The simplicity of handing in assignments online can already be seen through the vastly utilized Google Classroom, which allows teachers to post assignments and students to turn them in online. Since you can save the forms and submit them immediately, there is no need to worry about losing or misplacing the paper forms.
However, as all things do, electronic SSL forms have their downsides as well. For one, they lose the authenticity of handwriting the forms. Hand writing is an important skill, which, according to a study conducted by Princeton University, is beneficial in improving memory, critical thinking, creativity and reading comprehension. With so many essays and notes being written down on electronic devices, SSL forms are one of the only remaining school documents which still need to be hand written.
Furthermore, storing such crucial information online poses high risks and consequences should the website be hacked. All of the student’s hours and personal information could potentially be altered, an issue that never has been and never will be a problem with paper SSL forms.
If, in the future, more schools decide to implement online SSL forms, it should still be up to the students to decide which method they wish to use. While the benefits of this online SSL forms are clear, so are the realistic drawbacks; both should be taken into consideration when deciding the future of these crucial forms.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Valerie Wang of Richard Montgomery High School