Can schools and learning institutions really go paperless? That is the million-dollar question.
In a classroom in Henry County, Kentucky, students can no longer use the excuse, "my dog ate my homework." And the annoying churning of the pencil sharpener can no longer interrupt the teacher's lesson.
At Eminence Middle School - home of The Paperless Classroom - teacher Stephanie Sorrell has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of transforming her seventh and eighth-grade classrooms into a paperless society. Her feat is an example of a movement toward paperless classes - and, perhaps one day paperless schools.
An alternative to paper
Sorrell's classes have served as guinea pigs. These classes were tapped to introduce technology that could vastly improve student achievement. Each of her students now has a personal digital assistant (PDA) that enables him or her to receive tests and homework via an infrared beam from Sorrell's PDA.
Instead of standing in front of a copying machine for hours, she types tests and homework assignments into her computer at home and transfers them to the PDAs at school.
On average, she used to pass out two sheets of paper per day, per student. That would equate to about 900 pieces of paper each week. The handhelds have also helped cut copy machine costs and saved time that she used to spend waiting to use the copier.
"Think about the money schools could save," Sorrell said.
In addition, PDAs indirectly opened the internet to her students. So aside from the obvious savings in paper, this project has also allowed the school district to save on the purchase of books.
The success of last year's PDA program with her eighth-grade class motivated Sorrell to search for ways to bring PDAs into her seventh-grade class. It wasn't an easy task, but she received about 60 used PDAs from Microsoft.
Doing our part
While we don't have PDAs, our document imaging software makes integration easy by not changing your current workflow - but simply automating it. It's ideal for K-12 schools, colleges, or universities because PSI:_Capture allows you to scan directly from current multi-function printers or network scanners; allowing documents to automatically convert into searchable and archived PDFs.
- Student Bar-coding – provides simple scanning and auto-filing of records for specific students.
- Folder Separation – provides an easy, efficient way to carry information across multiple document sets for student folders.
- Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) – capture human-marked checkboxes or bubbles from surveys or forms and translate into analyzable data.
Savvy schools across the country are also using school notification systems to go paperless. In an effort to cut costs, schools are using parent notification systems to reduce or eliminate paper handouts, reminders, report cards, flyers, and bulletins without jeopardizing communication. Once thought of for only school cancellations and emergencies, parent notification systems are now a source of substantial savings.
Want to learn how Zeno can help your school go paperless?