Is going #paperless really enough? How can we take it one step further?

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A few years ago when I was re-entering the education field after a brief hiatus to work for my husband, the big industry trend was "going paperless."  I remember thinking what an awesome idea this was and how it could really push educators and students into the "digital age."  Teachers were going to the cloud, reducing worksheets and embracing services like Edmodo to engage their students online.  Fast forward 5 years and in some regards I feel like we've gotten stuck in the paperless rut.  I am afraid that some teachers view online versions of worksheets and assessments as technology integration.  Please don't get me wrong, the reduction of paper waste and use of technology tools in place of traditional worksheets and assessments is great and definitely a step in the right direction.  However, I am curious to get your thoughts on the following:

  • How we can move past the going paperless rut and take the next step to true technology integration?
  • How can we get teachers to move past substitution (simply digitizing their traditional worksheets and tests) and move toward augmentation ... or even modification!?
  • What tools are you using that could possibly replace traditional worksheet activities (ex: research reports, vocabulary practice, reader's response, etc)?

I am anxious to read your thoughts on this topic and maybe get some ideas for my teachers!  We're all in this together and I would love to brainstorm with you!


  1. This is a great post. If you can get it on Yaamo interest based social network, you will get even more following.

  2. There was a trend of going paperless just last year when a search/browser company did a campaign, though it backfired and became a PR nightmare. The detractors of the campaign cited the lack of evidence that using cloud services to go paperless could actually save the environment. I think your insight on making the next step forward is the substantial way to go green. What I can think of to improve the idea is if they were able to develop a cheap and portable scanner technology, like a "scanner-to-go". We already have 3D-printers, this would be easy if the think tanks put their heart into the green agenda. Nice insights!

    Curtis @ Spectrum Information


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