I picked up my son’s backpack the other day, and the weight of it astounded me.
It was so...light. Empty even.
I remembered my school days. I didn’t just wear a backpack; I lugged it. I measured my progress in school by the physical weight of my assignments. I remembered how frustrated my mother would get when I home--yet again--with a broken arm strap or a ripped seam because I had demanded too much of it. After all, aren’t backpacks crammed with notebooks, worksheets, books, and scratch paper a normal part of education?
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, technology--when appropriately used--can reduce paper usage by up to 30%. Take Bank of America for example (they did). When the largest bank in the country turned to online reports, forms, email, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight papers, it reduced is paper consumption by over one billion sheets of paper. That’s a 32% reduction--on internal operations alone.
And if Bank of America can do it, so can your school district.
There are several ways to save paper and money through the use of technology.
- Use emailed school and class newsletters instead of sending home printed ones.
- Direct parents toward a consistent website or web page for frequently asked questions, the latest news, or the most recent homework assignments.
- Store documents in electronic archives for instant retrieval (rather than relying on file cabinets).
- Encourage the use of on-screen editing features, instead of printing and editing by hand.
- Share events on a shared calendar with reminders.
- Use Google Forms instead of worksheets, quizzes, and paper tests.
- Use Google Drawings for scratch paper.
- Use OneNote for notetaking.
- Embrace the cloud system for swift data recovery and increased collaboration and distribution of resources.
But it’s more than just paper schools are saving. Printing supplies--everything from copier purchases to toner to maintenance contracts--are expensive line items. With reduced paper comes reduced printing costs, and printing supplies--everything from copier purchases to toner to maintenance contracts--are expensive line items. Moving to educational technology also saves more precious resources: family time, patience, creativity, sanity, and wear and tear on a backpack you can keep for years.
How does your school save natural resources while unleashing productivity, innovation, and collaboration? We can always help you find more ways.