A Paperless Classroom…?

May 28, 2013

Never thought you would read those three words, did you?

Growing up, all of us lugged around dozens of binders and notebooks filled with an immense amount of unnecessary papers. Every little thing was written down, from notes to tests to homework.

Ever wonder what it would be like to enter a school and not see any paper? No textbooks. No written homework. It’s hard to imagine. One school in New York City found that during the school year it wasted an average of 28 pounds of paper for EVERY student, teacher and staff member. So how is it possible that a classroom can go from using 28 pounds in excess of paper a year to barely using any? Technology.

Recently, tablets have taken over the technology realm. Whether you’re riding on a bus and reading your e-book or navigating the web during some time in between work, they are easier and more portable than the laptop we’ve grown accustomed to. Tablets have reached every market, from little kids playing games and using apps to college students – even the elderly use technology regularly. Their lightweight size and cheap price (relatively speaking of course) makes them an attractive buy.


Image courtesy of SyFy Wire

Education systems worldwide are noticing this recent trend and turning this popular technology into an academic tool with the help of computer companies. These companies are increasingly expanding and improving on their tablet products. Their ability to personalize apps and provide ease of access to information makes them a go-to for educational purposes. Apps and programs to aid with educational progress are increasing on the market. Even in college, books are now being turned into E-books. For some books, the option of a paper book is completely gone.

In the United Arab Emirates, U.A.E., the government has begun the process of phasing in iPads to 14,000 first-year students at their three top prestigious universities. Their goal: to roll out iPads to all incoming students for the next three years to have complete saturation. We could see this trend continuing worldwide as we see a new tech-savvy generation emerge, helping to reduce that 28 pounds per year per student consumption of paper.

So goodbye to the days of kids using their dog eating their homework as an excuse… or any excuse for that matter. No more problems with illegible handwriting or kids complaining their backpacks weigh more than they do. Every book, every assignment and every note can fit into an 8” x 5” tablet.

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