Monday, February 2, 2009

Do More with Less by Going Paperless

InsideSchools recently reported on a teacher at Beacon High School in Manhattan who has created a ‘green’ classroom, where all work is accomplished online, on screen, and entirely without paper. This is possible in part thanks to a laptop, projector and, inexpensive flash drives for students to ‘carry’ assignments and projects back and forth, and a tech-literate student body (only one of 139 students lacked computer access at home; another who had a computer but no internet found ample ‘net resources at school, in libraries and internet cafes, and at the homes of relatives and friends). Books, readings, and other classroom materials are provided on line and via the school’s internet portal; so far, essays, tests, and homework have been assigned and returned electronically.

In the post, called, Doing more with less the teacher has noted a more interactive, engaged classroom experience reporting that kids are doing as well or better without paper, he says, even with the challenges of glitch-fixing. In a note to InsideSchools, he added, “I’ve not used a single handout or Xeroxed paper, or printed anything out other than college recommendations that had to be submitted in hard copy.” No copies, no printouts, no paper, no waste.

With the cost of laptops plummeting and more and more one-to-one initiatives springing up (more than two dozen in NYC), I hope this idea, touted as an “unusual classroom experiment,” becomes a lot more “usual” and a lot less “experimental” and takes ground in other schools. This is an idea that is not only good for the environment; it’s one that’s also good for preparing students for the 21st Century.

For related posts visit:

Ditch Paper and Get to the Thinking Faster

How I Lost 20 Pounds in One Month On a Paperless Diet

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