Search this site

Thought for the day

Each day a randomly-selected "law", observation or suggestion will appear here.

Last 100 articles
Free subscriptions

 Subscribe to our free newsletter, Digital Education!

Digital Education cover early July 2014

 It's free. Signing up entitles you to various freebies. We use a double opt-in system, and we won't spam you.

Sign-up page.


The DfE Assessment Innovations series collated. This booklet is free to subscribers of Digital Education.

Be notified by email if you prefer:


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Amazing Computer Education Project Book

Remember this?

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects

It’s been downloaded over 35,000 times. I’m hoping to create a similar Computer Education Projects book, which will also be free. Find out how you can help by reading this article:

The Amazing Computer Education Projects Book


Digital Education

News, views and reviews. In-depth articles. Guest contributors. Competitions. Discount codes.

(Not necessarily all in the same issue, but each issue is full of good stuff nonetheless!)

Sign up for our free newsletter now!


Oh No!!If you can't find what you're looking for...

Assuming you’ve tried variations of your search term and checked the spelling without any luck, you may find the article Finding stuff on the ICT in Education website helpful.

Alternatively, if it’s not an article you’re looking for, try looking through the menus at the top of the screen.

E-Books for Sale

Want to make your ICT lessons more interesting?

Then Go on, bore ‘em: How to make your ICT lessons excruciatingly dull is just right for you.

Clustr Map
Terry Freedman's Social Profile
Powered by Squarespace

« Is the teaching and assessment of text messaging an example of falling standards in education? | Main | Also on the web: 11/13/2009 (p.m.) »
Friday
Nov132009

Reduce, re-use, recycle: 3 steps towards the paperless office

I wonder what 'visionary' came up with the concept of the paperless office? This is an idea that could have been born only in the days before personal computer technology was ubiquitous, at a time when it was peripheral to our everyday lives.

Paperless office?Quite apart from our natural tendency to prefer something tangible to something which, in a physical sense, seems not to exist at all, we are just not designed to do lots of reading on a screen. Eye strain and other computer-related ailments are all too easily acquired when people try to achieve what is, when all said and done, impossible.

Reading on a screen is a different experience to reading on  paper. That's why several studies have shown that people skim text on screens more than they do text in print,and why a whole industry has grown up advising people how to write specifically for the web. (A good summary may be found here: http://www.paperhat.net/articles/how_do_people_read_on_screen/.) It will be interesting to see whether the same reading limitations will hold true, in the long run, for ebook readers, even the ones whose screens purport to emulate paper.

Yet every so often I visit a school which prides itself on having a virtually paperless environment. I find that hard to believe, but more importantly, as it's such a difficult goal to attain, why not be pragmatic and adopt the green lobby's mantra of 'reduce, re-use, recycle' as their motto?

Here in the Freedman household we strive to abide by these principles. We reduce our use of paper by only printing out stuff when it's absolutely necessary, and then using both sides of the paper when we do.

We re-use the paper by using the blank side, when there is one, for things like shopping lists and telephone messages. We have attempted to re-use paper by putting it back in the printer's paper tray.
The trouble with this though is that at least fifty percent of the time it screws the paper up, which results not only in wasted time but in even more paper being used. But worse still is the embarrassment of turning up at a meeting with a sensible breakdown of costs on one side of a sheet of paper, and some political blogger's rant on the other. It hasn't actually happened to me yet, but give it time.

More often than not, I forget or don't realise that there is used paper in the printer. I set it to print a 30 page report while I go off and pummell a cat (everybody needs a hobby), only to return to a completely useless stack of paper, and the need to use even more.

We're especially good at the recycling bit. We shred a lot of our paper in order to safeguard ourselves against identity theft. The shreddings find their way either into the cats' litter tray, or to our compost heap. The rest goes into a recycling box which is collected once a week.

Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and one must always be alert to the possibility of unintended consequences. Like the time I set out recycling sacks in the computer suites in order to encourage the pupils to put discarded print-outs in them rather than the waste paper baskets. The volume of printing increased dramatically overnight, which I could only summise was due to the fact that the pupils thought it no longer mattered since they would recycle unwanted results. I was right: as soon as I removed the bags, from the pupils' sight at least, printing returned to its normal level.

I'd be interested in hearing your views on all this. Do you strive towards being completely paperless, for instance? What do you do?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (7)

Our office are also interested in paper less environment. We are strugling hard to achieve such environment. Your article provide me great info. Thank you very much.
February 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulius
Cheers, Julius :-)
Excellent tips!

I've noticed I'm using less paper since I bought the Kindle reader. I never liked reading of a PC screen much but I'm Ok with reading reports and ebooks off my Kindle screen.

Garth
My latest review: the <a href="http://reviews-results.com/aquasana-water-filters">Aquasana water filter</a>
April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGarth
to reduce the using of paper we should begin an electronic system like email, ebook,pdf etc. in my company we use 'office automation' to reduce the huge using of paper..
April 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterebook store
Documentation has been shifted to digital form because of many reasons, the primary being those of costs saving, productivity gains, information sharing and space saving. Paperless solutions are also accepted as they contribute in protecting the personal or important records from illegal users.
April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAiza2010
Nice Post!!
October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterData Entry Services

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.