I like the idea of having paperless classrooms, as an option. First (and obviously), it helps the environment. Second, technology is the way of the future. A lot of colleges and careers are doing most of their work and communication online and by using technologies. These skills can easily be strengthened in the classroom by going paperless themselves.
Currently, I already work in a paperless classroom. It is all done online… assignments, notes, communication, etc. All of our students have the option of printing though. I have found that most of them do not print and prefer using the digital form of notes, assignments, and textbooks. It is the student and parents’ preference. I do encourage students that are struggling or students with IEP’s or 504 plans to print work.
When comparing my current paperless classroom to that of which wasn’t, it really hasn’t changed much for me (except I spend a lot less time waiting in line at the copy machine). Everything that I created before was digital and now; I don’t have to complete the next step of printing for students. Because I teach fully online, all of our learning and measuring of learning is also done online. In my experiences, it is more convenient and easier to create networks with a paperless space because it is easier to share and organize online. We use a program called SharePoint which allows multiple teachers within our school and sister schools to share resources and documents in a secure network. By doing it this way, more teachers are able to collaborate and share.
For my setting both as a student and as a teacher, paperless classrooms are the way to go. The convenience, organization and ease are many benefits. I think it is smart to always have the option for classrooms to have printouts for students that would benefit from that preference. In my opinion, today’s education is one of options and a paperless classroom is one of many great ones. The key is to use what works best for you and your students.