Schools take us closer to a paperless world

Use of electronic document management is one way  organizations are keeping it together in a world with too much paper, and now a school in Baltimore Country is working on a pilot program for a classroom without the thin sheets made from trees. According to The Baltimore Sun, students will use touch screen tablets, online articles and a variety of mobile applications to facilitate learning in school. The experimental program will include 70 middle-school students at the Loch Raven Technical Academy.

"We're already heavily reliant on technology for our programs, so this seemed like a perfect marriage," said Michelle Dressel, magnet coordinator for eighth grade at the school, according to the news source. "Class will be 24-7, and that's how students learn today. The [classroom] hasn't really changed to reflect today's learner, and this is really taking a huge leap."

Dressel isn't wrong- most classrooms operate in relatively traditional ways, using paper, textbooks and other tools that can also be found online. Loch Raven's initiative recognizes how technology could aid and impede learning, and it involves working to find ways to make new offerings relevant. Many children are using mobile devices and PCs at home, leading teachers to seek ways to use them as learning materials.

"I'm very excited," said Austin Hepburn, a seventh-grader at the school. "I don't like writing at all, and it makes my hand hurt. And I have a smartphone and an iPad, so I know how to use the technology better."

Classrooms are getting rid of paper in education initiatives, and school administrators can jump on board by deploying electronic document management solutions that can keep important documents on file. Rather than having huge quantities of student records, administrators can use a document management solution to access information, resulting in increased efficiency and a lot more space.

The University of Buffalo is also looking to make its graduate and professional program applications paperless, according to the UB Reporter. The new system will help faculty members assess candidates digitally, rather than having to read manual submissions. Applying online is easier for students, as well, who might not have easy access to printing. A paperless solution allows for an application process without so much effort.