Paper – let’s be honest its the lifeblood of the modern classroom. Textbooks, worksheets, exercise note pads, and scrap paper are all essential school materials, so could education really exist without them?
Yes, it can! And no we are not suggesting a revert back to the chalk and slates of the latter century.
In the digital age, there are many new tools available to help teachers deliver lessons and vital instructional material, all without touching a printer. Ebooks, Learning Management Systems, 1:1 devices, and fun edtech apps are all part of an increasing movement away from the manual paper-based classroom.
So why should you embrace this move away from the paper model, towards a digitally-enabled classroom? Aside from being inevitable, there are several reasons why schools should go paperless starting this year:
— Kami (@usekamiapp) October 28, 2019
It saves schools a lot of money
Okay, let’s cut straight to the chase. Paper and printing are expensive. K-12 schools spend an average of $50,000 annually on paper and ink costs for printing and copying, according to estimates by IT firm NWN. On top of this NWN estimated that districts spend an additional $9 on print management—such as repairs and services—for every $1 spent on printing.
That’s an awful lot of school budget for a majority single-use product.
While the initial cost of upgrading to devices and software required to break the paper cycle may be offputting, the overall savings are enormous.
E-books are less expensive and more easily updated
Textbooks can be frustrating items. A brand-new textbook one day, not only becomes battered by frequent use, but can just as quickly become obsolete as second, third, and fourth editions of the book are released in quick succession.
It’s even more burdensome for the students, who have to buy newer editions of textbooks every year and lug multiple subject books around for the entire school day.
There is an easier way. Ebooks exist purely on a digital platform and, as such, are forever pristine and easy to read. They are also automatically updated with the latest information for free, so you can count on your text always being up to date.
Ebooks work particularly well in conjunction with edtech apps which enable students and teachers to interact with the material on a screen. For example, Kami allows you to take any existing document, including scanned PDFs, and write, draw, type, annotate, comment, augment, enhance, and otherwise bring it to life – all within your browser. This means exercises like close reading or answering worksheet questions can be done from a device and no printing is required at all!
— Kami (@usekamiapp) October 10, 2019
It helps to reach more students
Life is not always straightforward and there are many situations that prevent students from being physically present in the classroom. In a world of paper, this is a serious issue as students are unable to get hold of lesson resources or homework assignments. But in a digital system, access to resources is not limited to physical proximity.Electronic files can be easily transferred to everyone at the click of a mouse.
Furthermore, using an LMS system, teachers can assign work, have it turned in and graded all within one online system. Resources like Kami also mean that students can complete their work from their own device using the range of tools within the app. If students were not present for a key lesson teachers can also use the video comment tool to leave explanations of tasks and how to complete them.
Digital resources also improve access to resources within the classroom. Everything from mild dyslexia to severe physical impairment can be embraced into mainstream learning with the aid of digital devices. Tools such as text-to-speech and alternatives to typing and writing, like voice and video comments mean that everyone can access resources that in traditional paper form would be cut off from them.
— Trevor Williams (@TrevorTeaches) April 4, 2018
It enhances data accessibility
Investing in a robust data management systems means that you can easily store student and staff information securely onsite. Digital files can be accessed quickly by staff with the correct admin permissions and can be backed up and restored if needed. This is not only a huge space saver, but it also protects files from physical hazards like fires, floods and theft.
— Kami (@usekamiapp) October 15, 2019
It increases process efficiency and productivity
Managing documents and workload digitally has significant benefits to educators’ workflow. Integrated learning management systems, internet resources and digital assignments that can be graded online, save educators valuable time and energy. There’s no longer any need to do things manually when they could be accomplished faster electronically.
Streamlined online processes make it easier to get down to the task of actually teaching! Be it spending time with students, creating lesson plans or simply getting some well-earned rest, appropriately aligned technology has the ability to improve life for teachers.
Do you want to take the first step towards a paperless classroom? Then check out the Kami app today. Our easy to use application is designed to create a more inclusive and collaborative classroom environment that embraces everyone’s learning needs.