L&L wants your opinion!
Send comments to
Participate in our reader poll at
Should Schools Go Paperless?
Respondents were split down the middle about whether schools—
and students—are ready to do away with paper and go all digital.
It’s a Win-Win
Schools are in the position to create
universally designed learning environments where all students would have
access to the curriculum and where
1: 1 devices with built-in readers and
tools would deliver information. Going paperless and establishing an
all-digital environment could deliver
personalized learning, level the playing field for the diverse learner, and
create a green school, all at one time.
Let’s do it!
Education Technology Consultant
Amherst, New Hampshire
First Things First
The school I’m at does not even have
the budget to keep a good stock of
paper, let alone buy the expensive
technology it takes to replace it. In
elementary schools, we cannot expect
students to each have their own computers, and if they do, they have not
developed a sense of responsibility to
take care of it. We should be asking
how we can get people to understand
that schools are important enough to
pass a levy to buy basic necessities.
Bowling Green, Ohio
Cover All Bases
Learning involves a combination of
tools. It is not just one or the other.
We prepare the students for the world
outside the classroom. They need to
know all aspects of communication.
Comment on ISTE’s Facebook page
Leave the 19th Century Behind
Paper products are a 19th century
holdback and should be phased out as
quickly as possible. There is no reason
to continue to hang on to physical
paper when digital paper does everything actual paper does and more.
Artists, authors, musicians, photographers, and many others have made the
shift. It’s about time we did the same
thing in our schools.
Director of Information Technologies
Keep History Alive
Turning oral language into written
form is an ancient practice, much
older than the invention of papyrus
by the Egyptians. Eliminating paper
from the options available to students
would mean denying part of our history as communicators.
Mara Linaberger, EdD
Coal Center, Pennsylvania
Focus on What’s Most Important
If paper were out of the equation,
potentially a tablet computer could
turn our handwriting into printed text
(and that would be an improvement
over my handwriting). Or we’d see
kids focusing more on typing skills. I
understand that there is a perceived
art to the handwriting process, but
that art is not what gets valued in our
schools, nor should it. Rather, we want
students to produce well-written arguments and thoughts.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Calculators Can’t Do It All
Today in the math classes that I
taught, I was working with graphing
inequalities by hand. Having my students explore this concept and not just
looking at a calculator involved them
working with graph paper, plotting
points, and looking at feasible points
and regions. You need technology in
math, but you still need to know how
to plug and chug your way through a
math problem by hand.
Bowling Green, Ohio
The objective should not be to entirely replace a tried and proven
medium for teaching and learning,
but to reduce the wasteful and irresponsible use of it. Schools can
reduce paper use by inviting parents
to opt in to receiving digital communication instead of printed work.
Teachers can be better trained in the
usefulness of digital communication. Publishers can print smaller
books linked to digital resources.
Worksheets or handouts can be reused instead of reprinted.