Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going Paperless

On the last day of school, I spoke with my vice-principal, Mr. King about the idea of our high school going paperless next year. By going paperless, I said, we could foster a learning space where students, teachers and administrators could share in the creation of a diverse, scholastic archive of student work that would include essay writing, research projects, collaborative works and multimedia projects. We would also help students to better understand and build those ever so important personal learning networks that everyone is cheering about now.

I told him that when teachers and administrators go paperless, when we think digital, when we think green, we help students to create an easily accessible and transparent record of their scholastic productivity over a given period of time. I told him that even the most organized and meticulous teachers in our building would have a hard time finding a specific report of a particular student from five years ago. It's just too much paper to keep up with. On the other hand, if we start now to digitize all student work through blogging, wikis, twitter, FaceBook, podcast and YouTube, then that work would be instantly accessible for decades!

I suggested to my vice-principal that it might be a good idea if our students, teachers and administrators were required to use an online office suite like Google Docs or ZOHO for all school related business - papers, reports, projects, memos, announcements, e-mail, surveys, slideshows and more. I told him that If we could agree, as a school, on a single delivery method for works shared between students, staff and administrators, at the very least, we could avoid the mad rush of students frantically trying to prepare and print final projects and other reports ten minutes before the start of their next class. I must have heard "can you print this for me?" a hundred times during the last two weeks of school. (I haven't seen an Ami Pro or Word Perfect document file since 1995)

The good news here is that Mr. King agreed with me. He agreed that we need a single delivery method for students to get work to teachers and for teachers to share work back with their students. He was quite receptive and open to the idea of using blogs, wikis and podcasts to create and share work. But even better than that, he liked the meta idea of our school going totally paperless next year.

I'll keep you posted.

On that same note, here is a link to an outstanding blogger who, too realizes the enormous potential of going paperless.

H Songhai

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  • At September 18, 2009 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Mr. DeMarco. I have been a PTA membership coordinator for the last few years. Ever since our school has tried to go paperless, I have been using using the online forms I found on

    to recruit PTA members and sign up our class parents for our Halloween Harvest, teacher appreication week, fun run in the sun, our book fair, dances and other volunteer needs.

    Last night I presented it to our PTA board at our first general assembly meeting. It was very well received and I believe our Room Mom coordinator is going to recommend that all of her class moms use the program to help improve parental involvment in the classrooms.

    I just thought this could be something that you may want to look into further.


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