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5 Reasons Why My School Move to Paperless Education System

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As I wrote in the previous post, our school starting a new initiative to change to paperless education system ( or sometimes called digital education or technology integrated class). In this post, I am going to explain the reasons (I can think of) why my school move to paperless education system.
To be noted, I don't actually know what's going on in the management board about the decision on changing the system. But here is, what I can think of and what the management board said before we started the system, the possible reasons, or let me say, the benefits of having paperless education system in our school.


1. The future is technology
It can't be argued that technology rapidly developed and it quickly become a integrated part of our lives. You can remember ten years ago, not all people having smartphones and laptops, but today, I can guarantee almost all office workers and university students have their own personal laptops, and almost all people has smartphones. Teachnology can't be separated away from our lives, not only our jobs, but also our meals, our cloths, and our wallets. Any information can be acquired in a blink, in your fingertips.
Our students, of course well-aware or that, and they started commenting about our traditional education system ," Why should we pay much for school, be restricted to rules, wear uniform, if we can get all the information the teachers give by opening wikipedia?"
Here you can see the needs to upgrade the education system to something more suitable to today's condition. Teachers' role is now no longer only passing information out to students, but they need to make students learn to adapt to rapid changes, because we never know how the future will look like, what kind of challenges would for our students in the future with this rapid change. What can be relevant information today maight not be relevant tomorrow.
What I usually say to my students, "Well, you are right. But school is not just about acquiring information. At school, with good teachers and mentors, you will learn also how to think, how to process the information, how to act based on the information. You can't get that part of education if you are just staying at home reading wikipedia."
The paperless education system actually forces teachers to be more creative, to be doing more passing the information, go further into the higher order thinking skill.

2. It is more efficient and costs less
With the paper price rising, go-green becoming a social awareness, paperless education is suitable options for schools. Well yes, initial set up costs more, but after year one, the school doesn't need to buy hardcopy textbooks for each students. Cost for textbook and photocopies for 300 students will equals to for one. You can imagine if every lesson, students are given one-page worksheet, and we have 8 lessons per day, and we have about 300 students at school, so you will be making like 8 x 300 = 2400 photocopied pages per day, and 2400 x 5 = 12000 pages per week. You can multiply with the prices of papers in your country. Not oncluding textbooks, and also the cost (not only financially, but also emotionally) for managing the paper trash resulted from it.
With students having their own device, making experiments is also cheaper. In one occasion, i wanted to show students how we can 'see' sound using oscilloscope. One oscilloscope is very expensive for a school, let alone four set ups we should usually have for the whole class. I gave proposal to school management several time to buy at least one oscilloscope for demonstration, but it is not approved. After paperless education system came to our school, instead of using real oscilloscope, I use oscilloscope application from Microsoft, SoundScope, that every student can install in their device for free!

3. It gives more variety in learning
With students of average 20 minutes of focus time, a 40 minutes lesson can be like dragging them in rough streets. Teachers need to give variations to learning. So instead of having a whole 40 minutes of lecturing, students can have 10-20 minutes of full-focus lecturing, 10-20 minutes of practice, and 10-20 minutes of games, for example. There are a lot of online resources to make variations in learning. Games, simulations, quizzes, etc.

4. It is manageable for students
Our students sometimes get difficulties about managing the notes and books, especially when they come to their final year. In the end of the final year, they have to take a compulsory national exams that coves all the topics from the beginning of their first year to the end of their third year. Managing papers, notebooks, textbooks for all subjects is not always an easy task for students, and when they come to their final year and they want to use the resources, the notebooks are already gone somewhere.
With paperless education system, all data are kept in the drive, easy to order. It is also shareable, so if one student get his device broken, his classmate can always share a copy.

5. It is manageable for teachers, too.
Especially during accreditation, when teachers are required to show the evidence of their teaching, students works,etc., having files stored at the same place is very much relieving for teachers. Also because our teacher formation changes a lot within five years (accreditation in our country is done every five year), sometimes the teacher leaving school doesn't give much data about his/her class. But with every files saved in school's drive, finding one is now become easy.
Another case is when a teacher need to leave class for a day or two, teacher can post assignmnet and remotely observe students progress. My friend once needed to go out of the city for 3 days, leaving her class with video watching assignment. While she was away, she still can see, whether the students were doing their task, or which students actually just open the file without spending their time watching and answering the interactive questions in the video. Then she can also give the feedback in real time with chatting feature. So, less class left unattended.

That is the five reasons for why our school change to paperless education system. And there might be even more.

So, does your school also apply paperless education system? Or are you considering to use it? Feel free to comment.

See you in the next post.

See also:
What Paperless Education System Look Like in My School
The Apps, Softwares, and Websites I Frequently Use in Our Paperless Education Class
Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I am a physics teacher and I love to learn anything in the universe.

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