Education of Tomorrow

February 16, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Education Group @ 10:10 am

Since the invention of the printing press it has seemed that everything and anything has been printed out onto sheets of paper. It has gotten to the point where we are destroying trees at a dangerously high rate. Current technology has allowed us to reduce the amount of paper used by sending files, emails and other information electronically, but people are still resorting to printing some of this out still. In a classroom setting, it seems that nearly all of your assignments and notes involve being printed or hand written on paper. Combined with the mass amounts of text books used by every student, this is adding up to an enormous amount of paper that is not necessary.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper per year.

Future classrooms will need to look to paperless options to help reduce this amount of waste. Many colleges and universities offer an online site that allows professors to send out assignments online so they do not need to be printed, but this will need to increase.

In the coming years paperback textbooks will become much less common. Currently devices such as a Kindle allow for one to purchase books and having a portable electronic copy. Although this technology may need to be improved slightly before it is the best it can be, it is a great start towards reducing the paper used to print mass amounts of books.

Reducing the use of paper in school is not only good for the environment, but it can also help cut down in the long term costs of having to photocopy, print and hand write pages and pages of information. It is estimated that in ten years’ time, school will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%. Advancements in technology will be able to make this transition hopefully seamless.

“21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020.” TeachPaperless. Web. 08 Feb. 2011. .
This article lists twenty one ways in which classrooms can be predicted to change in the next ten years. It has a major focus on creating a paperless environment.

“Recycle on the Go | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | US EPA.” US Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 08 Feb. 2011. .
This site was used to reference some statistics regarding the amount of paper used by the average person.

By: Rachel Q



  1. Hi Rachel,

    It is really true that the paperless classroom is becoming more evident and used in classes. Waste is one huge issue that is always seen first when someone asks why a teacher decides to make their class paperless. There are many more reasons other than that however why a classroom would become paperless. Money is always a factor when copies and handouts, the ease of distribution of materials, and that it facilitates further learning. Some schools are purchasing laptops to be used in classrooms as learning aids during lessons so that further investigation of questions or problems can easily be researched for a students benefit. One thing that I have found out is that blogs are becoming really important in paperless classrooms because it allows students to feel more connected and have a personal impact on their learning. Students also feel more confident when they use a computer so more discussions will be involved. Plus outside of school they are using technology constantly to look up and research for school or personal uses. So far though which is interesting, classrooms are not completely paperless because of tests. Teachers do not trust their students completely enough to cheat in some way through a laptop. Sheridan College I know has a Trust software that students download to their laptops so while during a test if they decide to open anything but the specified programs to be used for the test will alert the teacher. I think that this could work to benefit a paperless classroom but I have not seen a majority of teachers use it.

    Comment by Stephanie Horgan — February 22, 2011 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

  2. I meant to attach this link to my last post.

    I thought that this video was interesting to hear from the teacher as well as the students how well they think a paperless classroom works.

    Comment by Stephanie Horgan — February 22, 2011 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  3. I like the idea of the paperless technologies in schools, in fact, when i was in elementary school our backpacks were weighted and it was over 10-20 pounds sometimes (yes we did have textbooks at that time), and then research started where the idea of laptop and all those things was introduced. Sadly I graduated twice before things like e-readers were invented, and paperless school was not possible at the time, but now i believe its time. Hopefully when i bring my kids to school (in about 2030) they wont have a single sheet of paper there.
    But something to consider, how all those screens affect student eyes.

    Comment by Yuliana Zaborova — February 23, 2011 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

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