As teachers, we use a lot of paper. A LOT. We always try to be conscientious about the environment, but it’s often difficult or tedious to cut and paste and shrink and reduce everything to fit onto one sheet of paper.
So as you get into EdTech.tv, is the first thing I’m going to tell you to be “STOP USING PAPER YOU TREE KILLER!!” ? No.
Honestly, I don’t think it’s realistic to eliminate paper completely, at least not yet. but we can all start making steps. That’s what the folks at gopaperless2013.org are working at. Now the cynic in me might say that these companies all have a vested interest in you NOT using paper, because that’s their entire business model. At the same time, the pragmatist in me says that hey – regardless of how it’s getting done, if the use of paper is going down it’s a good thing.
The nice thing about paperless2013 is that they send you a monthly letter encouraging you with tips and ideas about how to work on reducing your paper consumption, serving as a gentle reminder.
Promotions and business practices aside, EdTech.tv is essentially a paperless movement itself. As we move forward learning to implement technology in more and more effective ways, we’ll have continually less need for wasted paper.
In my own classes I’ve reduced waste by projecting papers on whiteboards and correcting work live on the board. With so many students carrying smartphones or iPods around, I often just ask them to simply snap a picture of the homework assignment instead of wasting a piece of paper or having it scribbled onto the corner of a worksheet where they’ll soon lose it.
This may seem small, but imagine you’re only saving a sheet a day for 20 students. That’s assuming you only have one class of students, you’re saving almost a ream of paper per month – no small impact.
Do you have any tips or tricks that have helped you reduce paper waste as a teacher? Leave a comment below. You’d be surprised at how your simple idea might never have occurred to someone else.
Here’s to a great and eco-friendly 2013!