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!
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.